Erectile dysfunction post cancer surgery can have severe psychological complications in men. This disorder is more common during prostrate cancer. While the cancer patient is getting operated upon, it can lead to damaging of certain nerves. Though there are nerve sparing technologies available in the market, early recovery from nerve damage is not common. In the recent times, increased attention is being given to the new therapeutic options so that the nerve damage can be minimized and the recovery period speeds up.
Research on neurological causes and cure of erectile dysfunction
Research conducted on erectile dysfunction due to post operative nerve damage proved that there can be fast regeneration of nerves with a protein called as sonic hedgehog which can be administered through a non-fiber gel.
Preclinical studies – Preclinical studies done on rats proved that this protein caused a faster recovery of the damaged tissues. In fact, the recovery was twice as fast as it would have been had the nerves regenerated on their own. As the recovery was quick, it also minimized cell death in the male reproductive organ due to which erectile dysfunction could easily take place. Experts believe that this protein, sonic hedgehog, may also help to hasten regeneration of cavernous nerve which can get damaged due to diabetes. Damaged cavernous nerve can lead to impotency.
Sonic hedgehog was named after a popular video game character and is an important building block in the body which promotes nerve regeneration and is also involved with the functioning of various other proteins in the body.
Experts believe that there is a great need for therapy so as to treat erectile dysfunction which occurs as a result of damage to the cavernous nerve. Curing this nerve will enable men to have a better quality of life as cancer can occur in younger men who have high chances of surviving it due to increased and better cancer therapies. As they have a longer life expectancy, sexual dysfunction can have strong psychological effects on them.
This is a cause of concern as it also affects the partners of men who are undergoing surgeries. Surveys conducted on men who were suppose to undergo cancer surgeries depicted that most of them were more worried about the results post that operation than the results before the operations. This showed that patients of prostrate cancer wanted to lead a healthy life post the treatment without having to worry about issues such as erectile dysfunction.
Experts say that treatment using sonic hedgehog protein also applies to damaged peripheral nerve such as sciatic nerve or facial nerve which requires proteins to maintain their structures.
During the surgery of the prostrate gland, the cavernous nerve may get damaged by being pulled or crushed. This can lead to death of the smooth muscles in the male reproductive organ. This does not allow the smooth muscles to relax or allow the blood to flow in such that the tissue becomes erect. The faster this nerve recovers; the better will be the erection.