Among the wide range of treatments for ED (e.g. oral drugs, injections and penile implants), a vacuum erection device remains the safest, most effective and non-invasive treatment available. This therapy is the only natural, drug free treatment for erectile dysfunction proven over 90% effective. This therapy even works for diabetic and high blood pressure patients. Additionally, this therapy is not associated with side effects common to oral medications. Studies have shown that both patients and their partners report a high level of satisfaction with vacuum therapy.
Benefits of Vacuum Therapy
- No surgery
- No serious side effects
- Easy to learn and easy to use
- Medicare coverage
- Long term satisfaction
- Preserves all other ED treatment options
- Works as a stand alone treatment or in combination with other treatments
- For men who have had prostate cancer surgery, clinical studies, performed by leading urologists, encourage daily use of vacuum therapy to improve penile health and restore adequate blood flow to the tissues of the penis.
Why Men Choose Vacuum Therapy
About half of men with erectile dysfunction choose this therapy. Many choose to vacuum therapy because they take blood pressure medications or nitrates which can be contraindicated with the leading PDE5 inhibitors (Viagra, Cialis, etc.). Others choose it because oral medications are ineffective after prostate surgery, as the nerves ending to the prostate are in a state of shock or injury. Some people use vacuum erection devices in conjunction with oral medications (Viagra, Cialis, etc.) to help enhance the effectiveness of such medications.
Many men choose vacuum erection devices because of its high success rate—90%. Oral medication is effective 60-70% of the time when there is no nerve damage present. Pellet suppositories (MUSE®) are successful about 50% of the time. Penis injections are successful around 75% of the time but can be painful and require a physician to dose the medicine properly.
There are some risks to vacuum therapy. Some of these risks include: potential pain, bruising, numbness or a cold sensation in the penis. Some men find the tension band irritating which may prevent ejaculation.
Who Should Consider Vacuum Therapy
Vacuum erection devices are safe and can be used by patients with ED caused by many conditions, including:
- Psychological issues such as anxiety or depression
- Poor blood flow to the penis
- Surgery for prostate or colon cancer
Note: Radical prostatectomies can cause temporary impotence as a result of nerve damage. Vacuum erection devices should not be used by men who may have a significant congenital bleeding disorder or a disorder that predisposes one to a condition called priapism (a prolonged, sometime painful erection lasting over several hours). Examples include sickle cell anemia, some forms of leukemia and other blood conditions.
Vacuum Therapy Following Prostate Surgery
One of the most embarrassing side effects of prostatectomy is the shrinkage of the penis, both in circumference and length. Penile shrinkage is common among men who have had prostate surgery and tends to worsen over time. However, vacuum therapy has been shown to help patients maintain peroperative penis size.