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Endocrine surgeons self-assessing the setting for actively adressing patients' sexuality and impact on their help in routine-treatment at annual Austrian Congress for Surgery, Vienna, June 2017

Ucsnik, L1; Kottmela, A2; Körbel, TH3; Bizter, J4; Teleky, B5

1: Medical University Vienna, Univ.Clin. f. Surgery, Austria; 2: Private Practice for Gynecology and Sexual Medicine, Austria; 3: Medical University Vienna, Austria; 4: Private Practice, Switzerland; 5: Medical University Vienna, Univ.Clin. f. Surgery, Head of the Austrian Working Group for Endocrine Surgery, Member of the Board of the DGAV-Working Group "Endocrine Surgery" Austria

Introduction: The complex and well-balanced hormone system, including the thyroid gland and its feedback-loops, have an impact on patients sexual health. Endocrine surgery is one therapeutical option for treatment of diseases of the thyroid gland and thus influence patients’ hormone systems including sexual function.

Method: At the Austrian Surgeons’ Congress, June 2017, a tripartite survey was distributed and filled in by 31 endocrine surgeons (return rate 25,8%) to assess the integration of patients’ sexual dysbalance in treatment.

Results: The settings they suggested asking actively the patients about sexual irritations and problems were: concrete diagnoses (80%), andro-/menopause (75%), each 50% prevention and rehabilitation, each 25% before and after surgery, control examination, at cures, internal medicine check-ups and (38%) pain therapy. 50% stated no established sexual medicine-appointments in public hospitals yet, each 25% neither at university hospital, nor private hospital or practice. The support offered in case of sexual irritations or problems were each 13% information on the physiology of sexual function, referral to sexual medicine specialists, medical specialists from other fields. No one mentioned the evaluation of medications’ side-effects’ impact on sexual function or hormone therapy by gynecologists, andrologists or endocrinologists. 25% of the endocrine surgeons assessed that 20-40% of the patients occasionally accepted their suggestions for treatment of sexual irritations or problems, each 13% often, seldom or never, no one always. They rated with 25% each to be of help to none of the patients’ problems and 21-40% at most. Causes interfering a successful treatment were: each 25% patients’ age, doctors’ lack of time and sexual-medicine expertise each 13% patients’ religion, culture, lack of motivation of therapy, no specialist known for referral.

Conclusion: Only each 25% of the endocrine doctors assessed before and after surgery being settings sexual functionality should actively be integrated in active conversation with the patients. There were no established sexual medicine-appointments – neither in public nor in university hospitals yet. 60% of the endocrine patients couldn’t be helped yet concerning their sexual irritations or problems. Each 25% of the doctors stated a need for training in sexual-medicine and more time dedicated to the patients to be able to integrate sexual problems and thus increase the success of endocrine treatment and surgical procedures.


Work supported by industry: no.

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