Cavernous nerves of penis

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Nerve: Cavernous nerves of penis
Latin nervi cavernosi penis
Gray's subject #220 989
From prostatic plexus
/ Elsevier

The cavernous nerves are post-ganglionic parasympathetic nerves that facilitate penile erection. They arise from cell bodies in the inferior hypogastric plexus where they receive the pre-ganglionic pelvic splanchnic nerves (S2-S4).

There are both lesser cavernous nerves and a greater cavernous nerve.

Clinical considerations

These nerves are susceptible to injury following prostatectomy.

Nerve-sparing prostatectomy was invented for surgeons to avoid injuring the nerves an causing erectile dysfunction complications. During surgery, a doctor may apply a small electrical stimulation to the nerve and measure the erectile function.[1] This test aid the surgeon in identifying the difficult to see nerves.[2]


Gray's Anatomy, 1918 edition

  1. Dr. Peter Scardino's Prostate Book, Avery, 2005
  2. Blue Torch December 2007