Long-term sexual outcomes after holmium laser enucleation of the prostate: which patients could benefit the most?

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Assess rate and predictors of erectile function (EF) outcomes at long-term follow-up (FU) after holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP). Cross-sectional analyses were performed on 135 patients with a mean FU of 12 years post HoLEP. Patients completed both a baseline and a FU International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF)-EF domain and the International Prostatic Symptoms Score (IPSS). Postoperative EF outcomes, including rate and predictors of EF improvement considering minimal clinically important differences (MCIDs) criteria, were assessed. Logistic regression models tested the association between predictors and EF. At a mean (median) FU of 152.1 (163) months, patients showed a significant decrease in the IIEF-EF score P < 0.01) and significant IPSS improvement (P < 0.01). Overall, 50 (37%) patients worsened by at least one IIEF-EF category. Conversel, 23 (17%) patients reported an improvement in postoperative IIEF-EF score; 75 (55.6%) and 10 (7.4%) patients maintained and eventually improved their IIEF-EF category, respectively. Patients reporting a decrease in the postoperative IIEF-EF score were significantly older (P = 0.03) and showed a significantly longer mean FU (P < 0.01) than those reporting postoperative improvements of IIEF-EF. Nine (6.7%) patients showed significant EF improvement according to MCIDs criteria. Both higher IPSS scores (odds ratio (OR): 1.12; P = 0.02) and lower IIEF-EF (OR: 0.88; P < 0.01) at baseline, emerged as independent predictors of postoperative EF improvement. HoLEP was associated with a decrease in EF and a persistent amelioration of BPH-related urinary symptoms at long-term FU. Almost one third of patients worsened by at least one IIEF-EF category. However, a clinically meaningful EF improvement was observed in roughly 7% of the individuals. Patients with more severe preoperative urinary symptoms and ED benefited more from HoLEP in terms of EF.

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