Purposes: This study prospectively assessed the sexual and urinary functions, as well as factors influencing these functions, in patients who underwent open or robotic surgery for rectal cancer. Methods: Forty-five consecutive male patients who underwent rectal resection for rectal cancer were prospectively enrolled in this study. Their sexual and urinary functions were assessed through self-administered questionnaires comprising the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF; sexual function) and the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS; urinary function) before and at 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. Results: Fifteen patients who underwent robotic surgery and 22 who underwent open surgery were finally analyzed in this study. The total IIEF score and the individual score items did not change at 3, 6 or, 12 months after open or robotic surgery compared with the preoperative values. However, a univariate analysis revealed that age affected the urinary function 12 months after surgery, while both univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that postoperative complications affected the sexual function 12 months after surgery. Conclusions: In this non-randomized comparison, the postoperative sexual and urinary functions were comparable between patients who underwent open rectal surgery and those who underwent robotic rectal surgery. Postoperative complications were a risk factor for sexual dysfunction, while age was a risk factor for urinary dysfunction.
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