One of the first recommendations to an obese patient coming to my office complaining about Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is to lose weight. No matter how to get it done. There is strong scientific support for significant improvement of ED in those patients that normalize their body weight and then their BMI (Body Mass Index). However, in my daily experience, sometimes a patient who received bariatric surgery keep complaining or even started complaining about ED.
Can Weight-loss Surgery cause Erectile Dysfunction?
The conclusion of the majority of studies would say no. It is true the contrary instead. Researches on a large number of patients operated with bariatric surgery indicate that they significantly improved their erectile function and sexual satisfaction. However, one of the main risk factors for ED is obesity and the most frequent related comorbidities like hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. In conclusion, when we treat obesity, we also improve the patient’s sexual experience.
What may have happened to a patient reporting ED after Weight-loss Surgery?
It is very uncommon for a patient to come complaining about ED after Weight-loss Surgery. Nowadays, the most common weight-loss surgeries are the Biliopancreatic Diversion with duodenal switch, Gastric Bypass, and Sleeve Gastrectomy. Complications and side effects are not so frequent. However, metabolic changes like hypoglycemia and abnormal absorption of some nutrients and vitamins may impair general health. Moreover, psychological health may be affected by unexpected complications that change the patient’s lifestyle. These could be the most reliable explanation for ED after weight-loss surgery.
Treatment of ED after weight-loss surgery
Metabolic study to rule out any abnormality like glycaemia, low Vitamins, malnutrition, hydrogen ion balance could be a good start to identify possible non-specific causes of ED related to the general health status. The psychiatric approach is helpful to check for any possible negative repercussions on mental health. Sexologist support and PDE5 inhibitors are possible and reliable help for these patients.
Christina Lindea, Certified Scandinavian Sexologist in Dubai: https://docnoor.com/