Restoring Intimacy with Erectile Dysfunction: Is there such a thing?

Advances in knowledge, science and technology are helping Urologists make life-changing difference to patients who suffer Erectile Dysfunction (ED) according to Dr Phillip Katelaris.

One of the leading urologist at the San, Dr Katelaris has been a urologist for over 25 years and says 1 in 5 men over 40 suffer with it and this incidence increases with age.

“Erectile dysfunction is often a taboo subject for men limiting their intimacy and affecting their self-esteem. The reality is it is not a man’s problem but a couple’s problem. It is very sad to see loving couples become distant and isolated because they don’t realise that nearly every case is treatable – provided they know about the options available to them”

ED can occur post prostate cancer surgery, or because of diabetes or a heart condition.

Medication and surgery are options but penile implants are increasingly common. A penile implant operation involves 23 hours hospital admission, a surgical incision in the scrotum, with 6 weeks recovery with mild discomfort before patients learn how to inflate and deflate the device.

Dr Katelaris calls it the permanent solution which allows for spontaneity, intimacy and romance, and which removed performance anxiety. He says his patients report 90% satisfaction.

“People are concerned that it is not natural – but it is not dissimilar to getting a hip or knee replacement, glasses if your eyesight is failing, or a hearing aid if sound is an issue.

These are all equally important to restore function which enhances quality of life. Couples feel young, they feel vital, they feel well-connected again.”

Penile Implants: ‘The right solution for us’


Both recipients of the Medal of the Order of Australia for their work helping couples and men after prostate cancer, David and Pam Sandoe have been married for forty-nine years and love their families and their lives together.
In 1996 however it was a shock when David was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer at age 51 and underwent a radical prostatectomy.
Although successful, the post-operative side effect was Erectile Dysfunction which affected their intimacy.

“We knew about the possible side effects and were challenged by the implications but as best friends we were determined to find the right solution for us. In the long term that turned out to be a penile implant.

We now share our experience at every opportunity to assist couples whose quality of life is suffering because of ED.”

David and Pam led the Prostate Cancer Support Group Network at the San Cancer Support Centre for over 13 years and both were actively involved with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia which David retired from as National Chairman in 2015.