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Posted by on Jan 18, 2019 in Prostate cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study looked at the effectiveness of chitosan membranes on sexual function after prostate tissue removal. It concluded that patients recovered sexual function quicker when they used chitosan. 

Some background

Prostate cancer is cancer that starts in the prostate gland. The prostate gland is a small, walnut-sized structure that makes up part of a man's reproductive system by producing fluid that is part of semen. Prostate cancer is an uncontrolled growth of the cells which make up the gland. Prostate cancer can be treated by medication, surgery or radiation.

Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the cancerous tissue. The removal of this tissue can sometimes affect sexual function after surgery. Robot-assisted surgery aims to protect the nerves which can become damaged during prostate surgery. A substance called chitosan can also be used. Chitosan supports nerve healing. This support helps the nerves regulating sexual function to heal faster. This results in a quicker recovery of sexual function after prostate surgery. 

Methods & findings

470 men were included in this study. Each patient had had surgery to remove prostate tissue. Comparison was performed between the group who had chitosan after surgery and the group which did not have chitosan after surgery. Patients had follow-up visits at 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after surgery. Patients were assessed for sexual function at 1 year after surgery. Patients were also assessed for urinary symptoms and recurrence of prostate cancer. Complications from surgery were also recorded. 

The amount of nerves spared after surgery and whether or not chitosan was applied after surgery influenced the recovery time of sexual function. At 1 month after surgery, 36.76% of the chitosan group and 25.88% of the non-chitosan group had recovered sexual function. At 2 months, 52.2% of the chitosan group and 39.22% of the non-chitosan group had recovered sexual function. At 3 months, 64.7% of the chitosan group and 57.8% of the non-chitosan group had recovered sexual function. At 6 months, 74.7% of the chitosan group and 67.6% of the non-chitosan group had recovered sexual function. At 12 months, 80.1% of the chitosan group and 71.8% of the non-chitosan group had recovered sexual function. There was no difference between the two group in prostate cancer recurrence. Urinary symptoms improved at a similar rate between the two groups. No major complications were reported. No patient had an allergic reaction to chitosan. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that using chitosan after prostate surgery improved sexual function at a faster rate than not using chitosan. 

The fine print

The authors note that there was no random allocation to groups in this study. This may affect the study's results. 

What’s next?

If you are interested in learning more about using chitosan after prostate surgery, talk to your doctor. 

Published By :

BJU international

Date :

Oct 10, 2018

Original Title :
Use of chitosan membranes after nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy improves early recovery of sexual potency: results of a comparative study.
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