Penile length decreases shortly after robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALRP) but returns to preoperative length by nine months postoperatively, a study found.

The study, by Jason D. Engel, MD, of George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC, and collaborators enrolled 127 patients who underwent RALRP for prostate cancer. Of these, 94 completed an 11-month follow-up period. Subjects had a mean age of 56.5 years. The baseline mean stretched penile length (SPL) prior to surgery was 11.77 cm.

At one month postoperatively, the length had decreased to 11.13 cm. However, mean SPL was not significantly different from baseline at nine, 10, and 11 months, according to a report in the Journal of Endourology (2011;25:65-69).

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The study is the first to describe penile length changes over time after RALRP for prostate cancer, the authors noted.

“Patients should be counseled that penile length might decrease after RP,” the researchers concluded.