Erectile Function after Open or Endovascular Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair

E. S. Xenos, S. L. Stevens, M. B. Freeman, J. P. Pacanowski, D. C. Cassada, M. H. Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair has been reported to be associated with impairment of sexual function in men, most likely because of autonomic nerve injury and pelvic blood flow changes. Endovascular aneurysm repair does not involve dissection in the area of the iliac bifurcation and therefore may be associated with lower incidence of sexual dysfunction as compared to open repair. We conducted a retrospective study of males after open and endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair to determine if there is a significant difference in the incidence of sexual dysfunction between the two procedures. A modified International Index of Erectile Function Questionnaire was used to access sexual function before and after aneurysm repair. The questionnaire was mailed to all male patients who underwent abdominal aortic aneurysm repair from January 1, 1999 to July 15, 2002. The questionnaire asked patients questions regarding their sexual function before and 3 months after the repair. Questionnaire scores for domains of sexual function (erectile function, orgasmic function, intercourse satisfaction, and overall satisfaction) as well as the total questionnaire score were analyzed. The chisquare and Wilcoxon's signed ranks test were used for statistical comparisons, with p < 0.05 considered significant. Logistic regression was used to examine association. Two hundred ninety-three questionnaires were mailed and 90 were returned completed. There was no difference for the total questionnaire score or the erectile function score before the procedure. Based on the questionnaire score, erectile function worsened after open AAA repair (p = 0.002). Orgasmic function also deteriorated after open AAA repair (p = 0.001). Endovascular repair was not accompanied by decreased erectile or orgasmic function (p = 0.057 and p = 0.068, respectively). Impairment of erectile function was not associated with age, diabetes, or the number of patent hypogastric arteries after aneurysm repair, but there was a significant association between impaired erectile function and open aneurysm repair (p = 0.036). Endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms is associated with significantly less impairment of erectile and orgasmic function than that with open repair. Preservation of sexual function after endovascular as compared to open repair should be among the factors considered when weighing treatment options for an abdominal aortic aneurysm in a sexually active male.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-538
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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