Adult urology| Volume 58, ISSUE 4, P567-569, October 2001

Pilot study of changes in stretched penile length 3 months after radical retropubic prostatectomy


      Objectives. To evaluate changes in stretched penile length after radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) in a prospective penile measurement study because an occasional complaint from patients after RRP is that their penis is shortened.
      Methods. Thirty-one patients undergoing RRP by one surgeon were enrolled. The same physician completed measurements with a paper ruler to the nearest 0.5 cm. The stretched penile length was measured from the tip of the glans to the pubopenile skin junction. The measurements were taken in the preoperative holding area before the patient received anesthetic medication for the RRP and again 3 months postoperatively. The reliability and reproducibility of this measurement were confirmed.
      Results. All 31 patients were measured at 3 months postoperatively. Of the 31 patients, 22 (71%) had a decrease in stretched penile length (range 0.5 to 4.0 cm). Seven were shortened 0.5 cm, 11 were shortened 1.0 to 2.0 cm, and 4 were shortened more than 2.0 cm. Five patients had no change, and in four the penile length was longer (range 0.5 to 1.0 cm).
      Conclusions. The results of this pilot study appear to show that the stretched penile length decreases after RRP at 3 months of follow-up in most men; 48% (15 of 31) had considerable shortening greater than 1.0 cm. If confirmed by other investigators, the cause of this change needs to be elucidated.
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