Dr Giovanna da Silva and colleagues evaluated women's sexual function, self-esteem, body image, and health-related quality of life after colorectal surgery.
Current literature lacks prospective studies that evaluate female sexuality/quality of life after colorectal surgery using validated instruments.
The team evaluated sexual function, self-esteem, body image, and general health of female patients undergoing colorectal surgery preoperatively, and at 6 and 12 months after surgery.
|Body image improved significantly at 12 months|
|Annals of Surgery|
The research team used the Female Sexual Function Index, Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale, Body Image scale and Short Form-36, respectively.
The researchers enrolled 93 women with a mean age of 43 years old in the study.
The team reported that 61% patients underwent pelvic, and 39% underwent abdominal procedures.
The team found there was a significant deterioration in overall sexual function at 6 months after surgery, with a partial recovery at 12 months.
Self-esteem did not change significantly after surgery.
The research team found that body image improved slightly at 6 months and significantly at 12 months, compared with baseline.
The team found similarly, mental status improved over time with significant improvement from baseline in the first 6 months after surgery.
The team noted no significant further improvement in mental status between 6 and 12 months.
Overall, there were no differences between patients who had abdominal procedures, and those who underwent pelvic dissection.
However, patients who had abdominal procedures had faster physical recovery than patients who underwent pelvic dissection.
When asked about the importance of discussing sexual issues, 81% of the woman stated it to be extremely or somewhat important.
Dr da Silva's team concluded, "Surgical treatment of colorectal diseases leads to improvement in global quality of life."
"There is, however, a significant decline in sexual function postoperatively."
"Preoperative counseling is desired by most of the patients."