European journal of vascular surgery vol:4 issue:3 pages:247-51
The influence of aorto-femoral (AF) Dacron reconstruction on sexual function and pelvic circulation was studied prospectively in 62 male patients with aorto-iliac occlusive disease. Erectile function remained unchanged in 77%. Improvement or deterioration was seen in 11.3% and 20.5% of the cases respectively. Impotence occurred in only one patient (6%) with normal function preoperatively but in 31% of those presenting with impaired erection. Pelvic circulation, as reflected by the penile brachial index (PBI), was not affected in 74%, increased in 11% and decreased in 15% of the reconstructions. Pelvic circulation was at least preserved in 90% after an end-to-side proximal anastomosis and in 82% after an end-to-end anastomosis. Since fluctuations in sexual function could be related to changes in PBI in only 36% of the cases it is concluded that sexual disorders after AF surgery are due to a combination of disturbed pelvic haemodynamics and interruption of the preaortic autonomic plexus. Patients with impaired erectile function are especially at risk of a deterioration and the possibilities of restoring erectile function in patients with aorto-iliac stenosis by isolated AF reconstruction are limited.