News Monday January 10, 2011

Impotence may worsen after weight surgery

Impotent men may see their problem get worse after having weight loss surgery, a new Australian study has shown.

Researchers from Austin Hospital in Melbourne, southern Australia, examined 176 patients undergoing gastric band surgery. This weight loss operation involves a band being fitted around the stomach, to restrict the amount an obese person can comfortably eat. 142 of the patients were women and 32 were men.

Before the operation many of the men suffered from erectile dysfunction, while more than half of the women had urinary incontinence; both conditions are linked to obesity. While the women experienced greater urinary function following the operation, the men did not, and they also saw their erection problems become worse on the whole.

Lead study autor Dr. Weranja Ranasinghe said: "The anticipated improvement in the men’s sexual function, which has been observed in studies on non-surgical weight loss, did not materialise. In fact, the men in our study reported that their erection and orgasm problems worsened after surgery."

Dr Ranasinghe said a number of factors could have influenced the results. Age is one, while the study also only looked at short-term results, and immediately after any operation, it is common for sexual desire to be low due to hormonal changes and psychological issues.

Weight loss surgery is used to reduce the weight of severely obese people (those with a body mass index, or BMI, of more than 40).

Impotence is a common medical problem that affects around 1 in 10 men. Impotence can be treated with the anti-erectile dysfunction medications Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about erection problems.

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