Written consent about sexual function in men undergoing transurethral prostatectomy.
Thorpe AC., Cleary R., Coles J., Reynolds J., Vernon S., Neal DE.
OBJECTIVE: To review the written recording of consent about possible sexual dysfunction after transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), and the incidence of sexual dysfunction in sexually active men after TURP, from a large scale audit of transurethral prostatectomy held in 12 hospital sites in the Northern Region. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Over an 8-month period data were collected from 12 separate hospital sites within the Northern Region by two independent nurse co-ordinators who travelled to each of the sites. Information was gathered from medical records, operation lists and theatre books using a standard proforma. The Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) was used as a quality of life instrument in a subgroup of patients who were asked about sexual function before and after operation. RESULTS: Advice about retrograde ejaculation was recorded infrequently, with only 30% of case notes including a statement about this (inter-site variations 0-78%). The mean age of patients in whom a written record was made was lower (70 [0.44 SEM] years) than those in whom there was no recording (72 [0.25] years; P < 0.001), but marital status did not appear to be a significant factor. No significant differences in NHP were found comparing men who did or who did not have written evidence about consent regarding retrograde ejaculation. In addition, in a subset of men who had been asked pre-operatively about sexual function, no significant differences were found in overall NHP measurements in those who did or who did not develop retrograde ejaculation. In men who were sexually active before operation, the incidence of major sexual problems, impotence and retrograde ejaculation were 12%, 11% and 24% respectively. CONCLUSION: The incidence of sexual dysfunction following TURP in this audit concurred with previously reported studies (4-40%), but despite this most urologists in our audit were not recording that they had advised their patients about this possible outcome.