Subacute penile numbness after brachytherapy for prostate cancer

Hadley J. Sharp, David A. Swanson, Hiral Patel, Vladislav Gorbatiy, John C. Frenzel, Steven J. Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Penile numbness is a rare complication of permanent prostate brachytherapy, and optimal clinical management remains unclear. We present such a case and discuss pathophysiology and clinical management strategies. Methods and Materials: A 68-year-old male presented with a serum prostate-specific antigen level of 6.9 ng/mL, Gleason score of 7 (3+4), and clinical T1c adenocarcinoma of the prostate. After a permanent prostate brachytherapy implant with 125I monotherapy to a dose of 145Gy, the patient developed complete penile numbness postoperatively on the third day. Results: The patient experienced complete restoration of penile sensation and function by postoperative day 9 with conservative management. Conclusions: Subacute penile shaft numbness after brachytherapy is rare and is caused by dorsal penile nerve compression. Over the course of a week, the restoration of penile sensation is likely to occur with conservative management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-67
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Brachytherapy
  • Penile numbness
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiation therapy
  • Side effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology


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