Sexual dysfunction that commonly occurs in morbidly obese men improves after gastric bypass surgery, according to a new report.
Dr. Ramsey M. Dallal from Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, in Philadelphia, stated that, “Patients seek weight loss most commonly for the desire to improve their quality of life.” “In my mind, it is important for primary care physicians and other professionals that manage sexual function to realize the impact that obesity has and appreciate the potential treatment that weight loss surgery offers.”
Dr. Dallal and colleagues measured the degree to which 97 morbidly obese men suffered from sexual dysfunction and then analyzed the change in sexual function after substantial weight loss following gastric bypass surgery.
Based on Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory (BSFI) scores, morbidly obese men had baseline sexual function significantly lower than that in published reference controls before surgery, the investigators report in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
After losing an average of two thirds of their excess weight, men experienced significant improvements in all domains of the BSFI, with the amount of weight loss predicting the degree of improvement.
After surgery, the average BSFI scores approached or equaled the reference control group, except in overall sexual satisfaction and ejaculatory function in the oldest group of patients (60 to 69 years old).
“We estimate that a man who is morbidly obese has the same degree of sexual dysfunction as a nonobese man about 20 years older,” the investigators say. “Sexual function improves substantially after gastric bypass surgery to a level that reaches or approaches age-based norms.”
“Sexual dysfunction should be considered one of the numerous potentially reversible complications of obesity,” the researchers conclude.
“Sexual dysfunction is an important aspect to quality of life and is now well documented to be a reversible condition,” Dr. Dallal explained. “Sexual dysfunction in this population is not likely secondary to psychological illness and not necessarily secondary to the presence of diabetes and hypertension.”
J Am Coll Surg 2008;207:859-864.