Male Genitourinary Dysfunction as a Consequence of Colorectal Surgery

Nathalie Mantilla, Shane McNevin

Key Concepts

  • Male genitourinary function can be severely affected after pelvic surgery—even when performed for benign disease. Sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves instrumental to normally functioning neural pathways can be located in close proximity to left colon and rectal structures.
  • Many questionnaires are available to measure male genitourinary function. None are perfect and choosing the best tool depends on the outcome being studied.
  • Radiotherapy and to some degree chemotherapy both can have detrimental effects on male genitourinary function.
  • Selecting interventions to improve quality of life depends on compassionate questioning and building a rapport with the patient. This ideally should begin before starting treatment.
  • Sexual function and dysfunction after surgery in LGBTQ patients is often ignored by caregivers and poorly studied. This group of patients can experience unique quality of life problems after pelvic surgery, and awareness is the first step to studying and understanding their needs.

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Last updated: January 26, 2022