Learn About Erectile Dysfunction Treatments
In this video, doctor Dean Knoll, one of our prosthetic surgeons,
talks about treatment of erectile dysfunction with penile implant surgery.
Men review how they feel before and after recovery from penile implant surgery.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
ED is defined as the persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection that is firm enough to have sexual intercourse. ED is not just a medical issue; it can also deeply affect relationships.
How Common Is ED?
ED is common. It has been estimated that Approximately 1 in 5 American men aged 20 and older suffers from some degree of ED. In the United States, this adds up to as many as 30 million men.
What Causes ED?
There’s no single cause of ED. There are real physical and psychological reasons for ED. Some common causes are: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, prostate surgery, prostate irradiation, colon surgery, rectal surgery, medications used to treat high blood pressure, medications used to treat depression, tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, being out of shape, spine injury, priapism, and hormone imbalance.
How do erections work?
The erection process includes the following stages:
- Initial Filling: With sexual stimulation, penile smooth muscles to relax, increasing blood flow to the penis.
- Partial Erection: Penile arteries expand to accommodate the increased blood flow needed to elongate and expand the penis.
- Full Erection: The increased volume of blood in the penis is prevented from draining, thus expanding the penis to full erection.
- Rigid Erection: Maximum rigidity. The tip of the penis and penis body enlarge until penile veins are forcefully compressed.
- Return to Flaccidity: Muscle contractions result in increased blood outflow from the penis, decreasing length and girth.
Are there treatments for ED?
Yes. The good news is that there are treatment options for ED, including oral medications such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis. These medications can help in cases of mild erectile dysfunction. Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis don't work in more severe cases.
With injection therapy, a needle is used to inject medication directly into the penis. The medication allows blood to flow into the penis, creating an erection.
Vacuum Erection Devices
A plastic cylinder is placed over the penis, and a pump creates a vacuum within the cylinder, drawing blood into the penis to create an erection.
An applicator containing a small pellet (suppository) is inserted into the urethra and the pellet is released. The pellet dissolves and increases blood flow to the penis, creating an erection.
A medical device is implanted into the penis that allows men with ED to achieve an erection. This device is entirely contained within the body. To operate, one squeezes and releases the pump in the scrotum to achieve an erection.
What is a Penile Prosthesis?
A penile prosthesis, which is also known as a penile implant, is a medical device that is implanted into a man’s body. The surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Penile implants have been in clinical use for over 40 years and have helped over 400,000 men return to an active and satisfying sex life. Implants provide an option for men who have tried other treatments without success. Many studies show most patients and their partners are highly satisfied with the results. Finding a treatment option for ED can be a life-changing event for many men and their partners. Choosing the penile implant that is best for you is a very personal decision. Because each type of implant offers unique features, you will want to discuss the risks and benefits of each with your doctor to help you choose the option that is right for you.
The features of a penile implant are:
- Entirely contained in the body
- May offer a long-term treatment option to ED
- Once activated, you can maintain an erection as long as you desire
- Spontaneous – have sex when the mood strikes
- Typically does not interfere with ejaculation or orgasm
- Designed to feel natural during intercourse
Penile implant complications and risks can include:
- Will make natural or spontaneous erections as well as other interventional treatment options impossible
- If an infection occurs, the implant may have to be removed
- May cause the penis to become shorter, curved, or scarred
- Pain (typically associated with the healing process)
- There may be mechanical failure of the implant
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