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Do vascular surgeons in Austria integrate patients' sexual issues in routine surgical procedures and vascular disease management - self-assessment-results at the annual congress of the Austrian society for vascular surgery, St Wolfgang, October 2017

Ucsnik, L1; Kottmel, A2; Bitzer, J3; Teleky, B1; Hölzenbein, T4

1: Medical University Vienna, Univ.Clin f. Surgery, Austria; 2: Private Practice for Gynecology and Sexual Medicine; 3: Private Practice, Switzerland; 4: University Hospital Salzburg, Univ.Clinic f Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, President of the Austrian Society for Vascular Surgery

Introduction: In vascular medicine diseases of the blood vessels are managed either by lifestyle-adaptation, medication, minimally-invasive catheters or surgical procedures, no matter if arteries, veins or lymphatic vessels are involved. It is well-known that the vascular systems do have an impact on sexual function. Thus we wanted to analyze whether vascular surgeons tackle the issue of troubled sexuality caused by vascular diseases.

Method: At the annual congress of Austrian vascular surgeons, St Wolfgang, October 2017, 23 of 69 vascular surgeons (return rate 33,3%) joined this survey-program and self-assessed via 24-item-questionnaire their integration of sexual issues in vascular diseases’ and surgical procedures’ management.

Results: 26% of the surgeons did not ask their patients at all, 52% asked up to 20% of the patients. 26% of the doctors assessed replied patients did not request attention about sexual issues, 70% of the doctors rated by up to 20% of the patients. 48% of the surgeons considered up to 20% of the patients having problems without addressing them actively. 65% of the surgeons suggested that other topics were more important to the patients and 26% evaluated lack of time being the reasons why patients didn’t tackle sexual problems. 61% of the doctors assessed before and after surgery were settings to address the patient’s sexuality actively. They referred patients mainly to urologists (43%) or gynecologists (39%). 48% did not offer any kind of sexual medicine support. 39% of the doctors suggested that patients’ age is one of the reasons reducing patient’s treatment success. 26% thought patients’ culture had a negative impact. 26% of the doctors rated lacking professional, sexual medicine knowledge for appropriate management of sexual dysfunction. 61% of the participants were male, 35% aged between 51-60 years, 25% between 41-50 years, 43% worked in public, 17% in university hospitals, 35% had 11-20 years of clinical experience in vascular surgery, 30% more than 21 years.

Conclusion: The survey’s participants were experienced vascular surgeons. They suggested surgery sexual issues before and after vascular treatment should be actively addressed. 80% of the patients treated were not asked about sexual problems by the survey’s participants. 48% of the doctors considered patients having troubled sexuality without actively talking to the patients. There seems to be a need for training-concepts in sexual medicine in vascular surgeons.


Work supported by industry: no.

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