Access to penile prostheses differ across provinces in Canada: A survey of Canadian urologists
Introduction: Surgical implantation of a penile prosthesis is the gold standard treatment for refractory erectile dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of and access to these procedures in Canada.
Methods: Canadian urologists known to perform penile prostheses procedures were surveyed on areas such as surgical volume, type of device used, and the direct cost to patients for both malleable and inflatable devices.
Results: Of the 50 urologists invited to participate in the study, 34 (68%) completed the online survey. Participants represented nine Canadian provinces and included a mix of academic (65%) and community (35%) urologists. Most participants (79%) performed less than 10 procedures per year. Roughly three-quarters of participants (74%) used inflatable devices in over 90% of cases, while half implanted inflatable devices exclusively. The most common devices implanted were American Medical Systems (AMS). Participants from Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland reported full coverage for both malleable and inflatable devices. Saskatchewan was the only province where no coverage was reported. The remaining provinces were found to have variable degrees of coverage. Across all centers without full coverage, the median reported cost to patients for a malleable and inflatable device was $5000 and $6000, respectively.
Conclusions: The urologists surveyed most commonly perform inflatable penile prostheses procedures. Significant geographical differences exist with respect to reported coverage for these procedures. This study highlights the need for continued advocacy on behalf of the urological community towards the goal of equity in coverage for penile prostheses across Canada.
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