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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2012 September;132(3):197-205
Iatrogenic erectile dysfunction
Zaami S., Lauricella M. A., Marinelli E.
Dipartimento di Scienze Anatomiche, Istologiche, Medico-Legali e dell’Apparato Locomotore, Università degli Studi di Roma, “La Sapienza”, Roma, Italia
Erectile dysfunction (ED), as defined by the American National Institutes of Health, is the inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance according to reports from the subject. Following the negative connotations commonly attributed to the term “impotence”, this definition has been replaced by the more appropriate “erectile dysfunction”. ED is divided into primary or secondary, used respectively if the dysfunction has been present since the beginning of sexual activity or if it appeared at a later time, after a period of satisfactory sexual activity. It can be defined also as generalized or situational disorder depending on whether it is always present in a man’s sexual activity or only in certain situations, activities or partners. Finally, it may be mostly of psychological or organical nature. The ED may also be iatrogenic, either as a side effect of pharmacological treatments or as a complication of surgery, particularly following surgery in the prostate or rectum. Our study proposes an analysis of various forms of iatrogenic erectile dysfunction, deepening on medical professional liability, especially in civil law.