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Do young surgeons in training in Europe and Asia integrate sexual health in daily treatment - self-assessment-results at the Davos Courses in Gastrointestinal Surgery, Davos, April 2017

Ucsnik, L1; Silberhumer, G1; Kottemla, A2; Körbel, TH3; Bitzer, J4; Teleky, B1; Brunner, W5

1: Medical University Vienna, Univ Clin f. Surgery, Austria; 2: Private Practice f. Gynecology and Sexual Medicine, Austria; 3: Medical University Vienna, Austria; 4: Private Practice, Switzerland; 5: Hospital St. Gallen, Head of Dpt for Colorectal Diseases, Member of the Teaching-Team of the Davos Courses for GI-Surgery, Switzerland,

Introduction: Colorectal and GI-surgery do affect functionality of the small pelvis and consecutively short-, mediate-, or long-term impact on sexual health.

Method: At the 35th international gastrointestinal surgery courses, Davos, Switzerland, April 2017, 39 of 247 young surgeons in training from Europe and Asia participated in a self-assessment of the integration of patients’ sexuality in daily treatment via 3-parted survey: on patients treated (A), health care system (B), participant’s profile (C), proven by the ethics committee of Vienna’s medical university.

Results: 56% of the surgeons in training were male, 64% aged 31 – 40 years, 26% aged 21-30 years, 59% active in public hospitals, 36% in university hospitals, 59% having 2-5 years of clinical experience. 56% of the participants asked up to 20% of the patients about sexual irritations, 3% 100% of the patients. 64% of the surgeons were asked by up to 20% of the patients. 33% of the doctors suggest that up to 40-60of the patients had sexual problems but did not ask the patients about sexuality. Reasons for not-bringing up the issue by the patients were suggested: embarrassing topic (62%), lack of time (59%), culture (41%). Young surgeons assessed these settings to actively address sexual dysfunction by the doctors: before surgery (85%), after surgery (67%), concrete diagnoses (46%). The surgeons did refer patients to urologists (51%), gynecologists (36%), physical therapy (31%), sexual medicine specialists (41%). The support given was information on physiology of sexual function (44%), specialists in other fields (28%), pain therapy (28%), evaluation medications’ side-effects on sexuality. 36% of the young surgeons assessed to have been helpful to 21-40% of the patients in sexual concerns, 33% up to 20%. Reasons decreasing the successful treatment were rated: patient’s age (56%), patient’s culture (36%), patient’s religion and lack of surgeons’ expertise in sexual medicine (26%), patients’ lack of motivation for therapy, no sexual medicine network for medical cooperation (21%).

Conclusion: The majority of survey-participants, 59% had 2-5 years of clinical experience. Sexual dysfunction was not part of daily treatment of young surgeons. There’s a need for professionally designed training-concepts in sexual medicine for colorectal surgeons and medical networking from early on in order to increase surgeons’ success of treatment and patients’ quality of life.


Work supported by industry: no.

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