My surgeon explained in advance on this subject. Once the prostate is gone, the bladder has lost one of its original fastening places. When the surgeon makes the very delicate bladder neck to urethra connection (involves some of the most skilled techniques in the entire op), the urethra is not actually pulled back toward the bladder, the bladder is now less rigid in its mount, and is pulled toward the urethrea.
The bladder's angle can change, depending upon size and pelvic bed area. So he said, especially at first after surgery, the weight of the bladder pulls the urethra inward, and since it runs through the penis to the tip, it will appear smaller mostly when in a flacid state.
In most cases, in the errect status, it doesn't appear shorter, according to my doctor. In practice, that was the case for me. When I was first out of surgery, I swore my willy was not only comatose, but had disapeared altogether. But as time went by, and when I was finally cath free enough after surgery (63 days) to attempt errections, he was right. I was fortunate not to have any ED issue, once the wee one came out of the coma and started working again, the length errect is for all extensive purposes, the same as before surgery. Sometimes now when flacid, its much smaller, other times it's about the same.
Lot of factors here, so there won't be any concensus of opinion, I wouldn't think. The fun world of PC has all these variables in every area.
For the majority of men that face ED, either in the short term or long term, I think it would be real important to follow dr's orders, in using the sex drugs and/or pump for medical reasons, even if they bring no recreational value early on. It's important to keep the blood flowing in and out of that region. When you think about how we function pre-surgery, its all about blood being let in, and then being held while errect, and then being released again after use.
David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence: 1 Month ED: Non issue at any point post surgery
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped 9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4, Caths #11 and #12 in at the same time, 2/8-Cath #11 out - 21 days