These 4 Surgeries May Be Causing Your Impotence Issue

Erectile dysfunction or ED can be caused by a number of factors, including lack of proper blood flow to the penis, lack of sexual desire, nerve damage to the genitals, diabetes, obesity, and multiple sclerosis. Another cause of ED is surgery, as certain surgeries can interfere with healthy sexual function in men.

Consider a few of those surgeries and how they can cause ED, and how this problem can also be addressed.

Prostate Surgeries

One reason that many prostate surgeries affect a man’s ability to achieve and sustain an erection is that nerves can be damaged in the area of the prostate during these procedures.

Prostatectomy or the removal of the prostate, typically due to cancer, is one of the more common surgeries that causes ED. Radiation treatments after these types of surgeries can also damage nerves that are necessary for proper sexual function of the penis.

In some cases nerve-sparing surgical procedures can reduce the risk of ED for those who have prostate cancer. These procedures would depend on the location of the cancer and its progression, as well as the overall health of the patient.

Colon and Rectal Cancer Surgeries

Because of the location of the colon and rectal area in relation to the penis, some surgeries for cancer in these areas can also cause ED in men. Typically colostomy does not affect a man’s sexual health but more invasive surgeries might, depending on their severity.

In some cases this may be a short-term dysfunction but in others it may be long-term or permanent. Radiation treatment following these surgeries can also affect a man’s sexual health.

Surgery to Repair Fistulas

A fistula is an improper connection between an organ and an intestine or other vessel of the body. A fistula surgery can affect the muscles that control the area of the groin and in turn, this may cause ED. In some cases this can be addressed with a surgery that repairs these muscles and restores the function of the penis.

Orthopedic Surgeries

Orthopedics refers to the musculoskeletal system, and in some cases these types of surgeries can affect a man’s sexual health. If a surgery of this type is performed around the pelvic or groin area it may affect the muscles that are needed during an erection and sexual activity. In some cases this too may be reversed with additional surgeries that repair the damage to the muscles in the pelvic region.

What about a vasectomy?

Note that a vasectomy does not affect a man’s ability to achieve or sustain an erection. A vasectomy involves snipping and tying off the vessels that bring a flow of semen to the penis and this does not affect the muscles, nerves, or blood flow needed to perform sexually.

If a man were to undergo a vasectomy and then experience sexual dysfunction, he should consult with his doctor. This may be due to stress, embarrassment, or pain following the procedure or another health condition not related to the vasectomy itself and it may be treated accordingly.

Do these surgeries always cause ED?

Absolutely not.  There are millions of men out there who have had one or more of these surgical procedures performed and not experience any erectile dysfunction at all.  It is simply a potential side effect or complication that could arise whether he surgery was successful or not.

There are so many tiny nerves and blood vessels that even the most skilled surgeon can nick one from time to time, and that's all it takes to cause a problem.  But oftentimes the surgeries are 100% necessary, so you might not have another option.

If you've had a recent impotence issue and can't find a potential cause, consider any of the above surgeries that can cause impotence.  If you have had any in the past, that might be the source of your issue.  Talk to your doctor about potential solutions.


read about other potential physical causes of impotence

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