Sexual Health After Robotic Prostate Surgery

21 May 2009

Can I have a healthy sex life after prostate surgery?  By Dr. Samadi

Besides overall health and recovery, we know that one of our patients’ primary concerns is the return of sexual function after prostate surgery. But there is successful rehabilitation of your sexual function after treatment of prostate cancer. Sharing these stories can help ease others’ minds about the procedure.

Please tell us of your experience with sexual function post-surgery. Post your comments below (click on comments). Fill out all of the appropriate fields including your name, email address, and comments and then click “Submit.”

13 Responses to ' Sexual Health After Robotic Prostate Surgery '

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  1. Gareth H said,

    on November 29th, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    Okay, I’m not at the six-month mark yet, so forgive me for jumping the gun…

    I was diagnosed with prostate cancer after a biopsy was performed in early May of 07; despite a very low PSA (0.5), there was a sizable bump that was felt on digital exam, so a biopsy was recommended. The Gleason was 6, with 50% in two of the cores.

    After my initial freak out, and the subsequent crash course and some more freaking out as I learned what would – and then would not – happen, I began the search for a surgeon.

    I was 40 years old, and it seemed like I had plunged into a nightmare. I kept waiting for the moment when someone would say “Oh, there’s been a mistake!” No such luck.

    But then, some luck came my way. Several people I met mentioned Dr. David Samadi, and I heard nothing but great things. I went in to see him, and was immediately impressed by the staff, the facility, and by him as well. He introduced me to a couple of his recent patients, who sat and talked with me about their experiences. He also gave me the numbers of two of his former patients who, like me, were gay and could answer some of the questions I was having; one was also my age, which was a great help (there aren’t a lot of us, but yes there are some!).

    At every step, from the initial office visits to the surgery and to the follow-up I am now receiving, Dr. Samadi and the staff at Mt. Sinai has been exemplary. And most importantly, I’m already having more control of urinary function and yes even some erections – at just 8 weeks out!

    Do I wish I hadn’t needed this surgery? Of course. Do I wish I had gone some other route? No way.

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  3. Robert Irwin said,

    on December 21st, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    Robert Irwin

    Early this year I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My PSA was just 3 and my Gleason was 6.

    Seven months after my open prpstate surgery to remove my cancer I feel like God sent Dr. Samadi to save my life since my time has not arrived as yet. I am 57 seven year old and feel I was resurrected. My sex life is healthy and my wife is very pleased from it. Dr. Samadi is not the number one in the world in what he does, he is like God’s s sent angel. He is kind, he cares about his patients deeply, extremely intelligent and highly likeable. I will always recommend him from the bottom of my heart and soul for any type of robotic surgery of the prostate, kidney and bladder.

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  5. Mel Andrade said,

    on April 4th, 2008 at 5:15 am

    Dear Dr. David Samadi:

    I am the patient to whom you just saved his existence, I feel just so much gratitude for you.

    Thank you for accepting me to be under your precise surgery skills, I really entered the operating room so confident
    on the procedure you were going to perform.

    You ask me if I knew what was going to happen to me concerning ejaculations.
    I knew that no more ejaculation could be achieved there after.

    I was reading previously many comments from post operative prostatectomy patients reactions after surgery.
    So I know something about the process of recuperating erections. Which is not fast and guaranteed
    But I was so surprised last night when I woke up (just the second night after surgery) that I was having erection, just like before surgery!
    I grabbed my wife’s hand under the sheet and pulled it so to touch me and told her: Touch over here…! So, she just said Oh my God!;
    The catheter had the form of an inverse parable towards the ceiling.
    I thought then that the procedure you had done on me was so precisely made. Or perhaps that was just a flashback of my organ.
    But I know that possibility is not real unless the nerves are left properly communicating with the brain.

    I hope everybody considering prostactectomy surgery will be as glad and happy as I am now with the results.

    Once again Thank YOU so much Dr. Samady and God Bless You!



    New York

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  7. Joe Adamo said,

    on May 23rd, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    May 23, 2008

    Dear Dr. Samadi:

    I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 45. The diagnosis was a shock when my routine normal blood work indicated my PSA had been elevated from 1.35 to 2.00 in 14 months and my physician (Dr. Victoria Triola) suggested a visit to the urologist. The urologist was not alarmed with a PSA of only 2 but suggested that possibly it was prostatitis and gave me a 30 day course of antibiotics. After the antibiotics, I had went for additional PSA testing and to my surprise it went from 2 to 3 in just two months. We proceeded to do a biopsy and after 12 samples only 1 sample came back positive with less than 5% of that sample indicating cancer and it was rated as a gleason 6(3+3). My urologist recommended Dr. Samadi for the surgery as he was a leader in his field using the latest technology for quick recovery and utmost skill in preserving the nerve bundle that controls a man’s erection.

    After meeting with Dr. Samamdi and investigating all other options and meeting other doctors suggesting the use of Open Surgery, it was clear to me that Dr. Samadi should do the surgery and using robotics was the way I should proceed.

    My surgery was performed on April 3, 2008 and I’m extremely thrilled with the results to date. I was released from the hospital the next day. I returned to work after only 2 weeks. After only 2 – 3 weeks I began to have slight nocturnal erections and beginning in weeks 4 – 5 after surgery, I have had full erections without the aid of any drugs (i.e. Viagra). My incontinence is not completely gone but it is improving every day…just do not over perform the kiegel exercises as it will make the incontinence worse. Lastly my first PSA test indicated a level of less than .05%.

    So I guess there is life after a prostatectomy. M y initial concern was survival and my second concern was my sexual function. Based on the skilled hands of Dr. Samadi and the minimally invasive use of robotics, life is looking up and getting back to normal in all respects.

    I would certainly recommend Dr. Samadi to any one considering prostatectomy surgery as he has helped a relatively young man get back to most activities after only 6 weeks. I could not be any happier with results.


    Joe Adamo

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  9. Patrick Reilly said,

    on July 23rd, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Dr. Samadi,
    Thank you for doing a great job! I have my man back in tip top shape and we had sex before 8 weeks post surgery waiting period! I must say I was worried about our future relationship! Life with out romance was not going to be fun, and I had doubts about ever having sex again.

    Some of you may want to read the story to give you some courage. I DID NOT WANT MY MAN TO HAVE ANY SURGERY AT ALL as I believe herbal cures are best.

    His insurance wouldn’t pay for it.
    His general doctor wouldn’t cooperate. Wanted him to get the chop up job where doctors remove the nerves along with the prostate.

    Dr. Samadi’s office has a great staff and very professional. Mt Sinai Hospital was on top of his operation, even allowing me a little sneak when he woke up from the operation.

    Patrick’s pain lasted overnight. The morphine was given one time only. The next morning, Patrick got up and left the building at 9 am. He was ready to go. By that evening HE WANTED a SHOWER! So we put a plastic chair in the tub so he could sit and slowly wash!

    The worst thing about the entire operation was a tube inserted in his penis for a week…I thought for sure he’d have incontinence from that, and he did, but we figured it was because he squatted in a deep knee bend at work the following week. (YES HE WENT BACK TO WORK after 2 weeks)

    Now he’s fine…the 1st VIAGRA didn’t work, but the 2nd one did…just keep taking them!

    THANKS SO MUCH FROM PATRICK & TRACI! We highly recommend you to ANYBODY!

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  11. Michael Levine said,

    on September 29th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    I had my surgery with Dr.Samadi a little over 8 weeks ago and I am very happy and grateful to report that my experience and recovery have been remarkable. I must acknoweledge that I was a very good candidate with a Gleason score of 6 with a completely enclosed small tumor and that I am 59 yrs. old and in very good shape. i had almost NO pain from the operation,used pain medication ONE time the night after,was released 26 hrs. after the surgery,used normal over-the-counter headache type medication for a few days. I was able to walk the afternoon of the surgery. I had an erection the night after the surgery and have returned to a full recovery sexually and have almost no incontinence to speak of but for a minor drip or leak a few times a week. I must say,I have done my Kegel excercises religously,starting 2 months prior to surgery and continuing until now. I returned to full activity within 5-6 weeks except for very heavy lifting for the first 4 weeks and am now back to serious exertion in athletics,primarily cycling 150 miles per week. My PSA report 6 weeks after surgery was 0.01.
    From the first consultation with Dr.Samadi and through out the whole process including all subsequent support phone calls to nurses and office staff ,every interaction was stellar.
    Dr.Samadi and every staff member and associate handled each of my questions or concerns with the utmost of care and expertise.
    It is clear to me that not only is Dr. Samadi a consumate and thorough professional,he is also very passionate about providing this state of the art procedure in the most confidence and care.
    I feel very fortunate to have met him at this point in my life and am grateful to my family and friends for their support through out.
    Michael L
    New York,NY

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  13. ED N said,

    on March 9th, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Dr. Samadi, It has been a year from my surgery. March 6Th 2008. I want to thank you for turning my worst news into the best of news. My father, grandfather and many uncles have died of prostate cancer. I feel you have given me not only life but a freedom to think less about how someday prostate cancer would kill me also. You have went way beyond my expectations on saving my sexual functions. I continue to improve and in some way think that I can keep an erection longer than before the surgery and it is not quite as hard but but hard enough and improving. I tried cealis but it gave me a headache and did not improve my natural function much. My psa is 0 and my wife is getting less sleep, so life is good. I turned 48 in October and looking forward to 48 more. May God Bless You and your gift. Ed

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  15. Wayne Z said,

    on April 22nd, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Dear Dr. Samadi,

    How does one begin to express a felt gratitude that is beyond words? My mind tells me just to write all of the many reasons to thank you – Yes, the operation went exactly as you said it would, and I went home the very next day. As comfortable as one could be with a catheter I really had very little pain and just as promised it was taken out in five da ys. Three weeks later, I shoveled my driveway and my neighbor’s driveway. One week after that, the bliss of successful sex. Incontinence, what incontinence? Although I continue to use half a pad the leakage is so little that I think it’s more for my head then what lies below my belt. Thank you “Da vinci.” My PSA is essentially undetectable – 0.05, and yes, you have a staff of angels.

    However, all of the above are but reasons of the mind. What are truly ineffable are my heartfelt feelings and the fact that “there truly, and factually, is a life after robotic prostate surgery.” A very good life I might add. Best summed up by my 15 month granddaughter – “up,” “up”, as I bend down to lift her up. Thank you so much for all that you are, for all that you do, and for so much more….

    Wayne Z.
    Six weeks after surgery

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  17. Bill B said,

    on May 1st, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I want to thank Dr. David B. Samadi, M.D. for his incredible success in removing my prostrate after the discovery of a growing cancer in the gland. His surgical skill is second to none. Of that I have no doubt or question. My surgery was performed on November 20, 2008, at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. I was released the following morning. While the first 12 days were a bit more unnerving than I had anticipated, the balance of the healing period has been progressing beyond my wildest dreams. My pathology report was excellent. As Dr. Samadi told me, there is no guarantee when it comes to removing cancers, my report was as good as a patient could ask for! My PSA is now below 0.01 and appears to be continuing to drop.

    I wore pads for about 30 days after the catheter came out on day 12 and since stopping I haven’t looked back. Prior to my surgery, as I was interviewing other prostate surgery patients (most of whom had undergone the robotic laparoscopic type surgery) I was concerned at the length of time they were struggling with incontinence and, moreover, the prospect of little or no sex drive for up to and beyond a year. I am happy to report that I am not having any problems with incontinence other than an occasional very small leak similar to the kind my wife occasionally encounters. And what a joy to find I have a pretty decent sex drive already (within a month of surgery) and only need to use Levitra (20mg) to have very satisfying sexual intercourse with my wife. I don’t know if my work with a therapist prior to the surgery to say goodbye to my prostate and relax my body had any real effect on the outcome, it certainly made going into surgery a heck of a lot easier. I highly recommend that exercise to anyone going forward with the surgery.

    I can not thank Dr. Samadi enough for his amazing and skillful use of the Davinci Robotic equipment in carefully and very successfully removing my prostate while leaving my nerves and bladder sphincter in tact and functioning. I did not like the Kegal exercises but did my best and am having great success controlling my urine flow. I might add that urination is now easy with very strong flow and complete voiding of the bladder. I’m able to hold my urine on long trips and find that exercise helps build strength in the sphincter to be sure.

    If you are considering robotic laparoscopic prostate removal please call Dr. Samadi for an interview. You will not regret it. He is one of the best, if not the best in the business!

    Bill B

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  19. Joanne Cox said,

    on June 25th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing this; your input is appreciated and has made me change my opinion slightly. About the 3rd paragraph though, could you expand on that a little? I\’m a bit confused about what you mean (so maybe others are too).

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  21. on July 22nd, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    A lot of rave reviews. My father had testosterone ablation therapy and radiation treatment but surgery may still be in the cards. Thank you everybody for your comments. I’ll forward them to my father.

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  23. ray said,

    on December 7th, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    it ‘s been 23 days after operation, no erection, is this normal? i am 52, very healthy before surgery please tell me i get my mojo back. i think i need it to feel complete…

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  25. Prashanth said,

    on June 29th, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Dear Dr. Samadi,

    Thanks, for providing a useful information and guidelines to be followed by the surgery patients

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