Vacuum Erection Devices in Houston, TX
What is a Vacuum Erection Device?
VEDs are a useful noninvasive treatment for erectile dysfunction. VED draws blood into the penis by creating a vacuum, and then a constriction ring is placed at the base of the penis to maintain the erection for intercourse. Although there are many types of VEDs available, it is recommended that only those containing a vacuum limiter (a feature that limits the amount of vacuum pressure and reduces the potential for penile injury) should be used, whether purchase with or without prescription.
Studies on VED satisfaction and efficacy show mean satisfaction of 75%. In men who do not respond to oral phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, VED may serve a role as a “rescue device”. A study of 69 men who had failed oral medications and were treated with combination of oral meds and VED for 4 weeks demonstrated a significant increase in the International Index of Erectile Function scores.
The erectile state produced by VEDs differs from a normal erection: the skin temperature is lower (this is secondary to the “pulling” of venous blood instead of arterial blood), the veins of the penis may appear distended and the penile circumference is increased. It may also require the patient to stabilize the penis during intercourse.
Dr. Jonathan Clavell is a board-certified, fellowship-trained urologist and men’s health specialist in Houston, TX. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, schedule your consultation with Dr. Clavell today.
How Does the VED Work?
The penis and constriction rings are coated with lubricant and the rings are loaded onto the base of the cylinder. The cylinder is then placed over the penis with the base held firmly against the pubic bone to maintain a seal.
The pump is then activated to slowly create a vacuum with negative pressure, inside the cylinder, which pulls blood into the penis to produce an erection. Once you feel a full erection, you may slide the constriction ring to the base of the penis to keep the blood inside the penis.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of VED?
The major advantage of the VED is that it requires no medication or surgery. However, research shows a high rate of discontinued use (65% of patients stop using it), and some patients may have occasional painful erections, find it cumbersome and lack of efficacious erections.
Benefits of Using a VED
VEDs can be used to treat organic and psychogenic ED. The current scientific literature suggests these are most helpful for patients with organic etiologies such as diabetes and for penile rehabilitation in patients with history of prostate cancer treated with surgery or radiation. After the prostate is removed (prostatectomy) for prostate cancer, the nerves, when preserved, “go to sleep”. It may take several months to 2 years for those nerves to “wake up”. In the meantime, the penis has problems to achieve and maintain an erection. The VED functions as a mechanical tool to help keep the penis size and tissues healthy while the body waits for the nerves to recover. These ‘assisted erections’ are known as part of Penile Rehabilitation, or the process of rehabilitating the penis back to its normal function.
For penile rehabilitation, Dr. Clavell recommends the patient to see his penis as a muscle or joint. Just like if you undergo knee surgery and you are expected to go through a series of exercises as part of your rehabilitation process, the penis needs exercise in order to maintain itself healthy. The VED helps exercise the penis. We recommend patients to use the VED every day for exercise.
Dr. Clavell and his team will teach you everything you need to know about the VED and other treatment options for ED in order to help maximize your results.