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This is the first study in medical literature to suggest that surgery for kidney removal can negatively impact erectile function while partial kidney removal can protect sexual function," said the study's senior author Ithaar Derweesh, MD, of the University of California San Diego Health System.
Study results showed that, about six years after surgery, male patients who had their entire kidney removed were 3.5 times more likely to develop erectile dysfunction, compared to those who had kidney reconstruction.
"What we are seeing is a dramatic yet delayed effect," said Dr. Derweesh.
"The primary argument for kidney-sparing surgery over total kidney removal has been to preserve the kidney filtration function," said Ryan Kopp, MD, of the UC San Diego School of Medicine and lead author of the study.
"However, we are also beginning to understand that total kidney removal may also increase the risk of metabolic diseases and significantly decrease quality of life," he said.