The Discussion of Sexual Dysfunction Before and After Kidney Transplantation From the Perspective of the Renal Transplant Surgeon

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Abstract

Introduction:

Sexual dysfunction (SD) is a common problem in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and endures in 50% of patients after kidney transplantation (KTx), diminishing patients’ expectations of life after KTx. Unfortunately, SD is often ignored by renal care providers. Research questions as part of a research project among all renal care providers, transplant surgeons’ perspectives were obtained on sexual health care for KTx recipients, including their opinion on who should be accountable for this care. In addition, surgeons’ practice and knowledge regarding SD were evaluated.

Design:

A 39-item questionnaire was sent to all Dutch surgeons and residents specialized in KTx (n = 47).

Results:

Response was 63.8%. None of the respondents discussed SD with their patients, before or after surgery. Most important barrier was that surgeons do not feel accountable for it (73.9%); 91.7% thought this accountability should lie with the nephrologist. Another barrier was insufficient knowledge (39.1%). In 75% of the respondents, (almost) no knowledge regarding SD was present and 87.5% noticed education on SD was insufficient during residence training.

Discussion:

Dutch renal transplant surgeons rarely discuss SD with their patients with CKD, as they do not feel accountable for it; this accountability was appointed to the nephrologist. Knowledge and education regarding SD were found insufficient in enabling surgeons and for some it reflects in barriers toward discussing SD. Results emphasize that accountability for providing sexual health care to patients with CKD should lie elsewhere; however, surgeons could briefly provide information on sexual health after KTx, so unfulfilled expectations may be prevented.

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