(HealthDay News) – Although penile shortening of about 1cm can occur at three months after a radical prostatectomy (RP) for the treatment of localized prostate cancer, recovery of penile length begins after 24 months and is complete after 48 months, according to a study published in the December issue of Urology.

Juliana Souza Vasconcelos, of the Pedro Ernesto Memorial Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, and colleagues conducted a long-term, prospective study involving 105 men with localized prostate cancer who were treated by open RP. The authors sought to evaluate the natural history of penile length in this population of patients.

The researchers found that, from three months through 24 months after RP, the mean stretched penile length was decreased by an average of 1cm from baseline. However, at 36 months, the difference in penile length was only 0.6cm. The mean differences in penile length by 48 months and 60 months were nonsignificant (−0.3 and +0.4cm, respectively). Early return of penile length correlated with erectile function.

“Penile shortening of approximately 1cm after RP may be expected up to 12 months. However, a trend toward recovery of baseline penile length occurs after 24 months of follow-up and, furthermore, is completely re-established after 48 months,” the authors write. “The maintenance of erectile function after RP is a predictor for early recovery of penile length.”

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