Low Intensity Shock Wave Therapy

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to obtain or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual activity. It becomes increasingly common from the age of 40 years such that by the age of mid 50s up to 50% of men are experiencing some level of erectile dysfunction. At one point this was thought to be a psychological issue but over the last several decades it has been realized that it is primarily a blood vessel issue within the penis.

There are other causes of ED which may be more related to nerve damage such as after prostate surgery. Erectile Dysfunction has an association with cardiovascular disease and is often used as an indicator that men need to be screened for cardiovascular disease and it has some of the same risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

Shockwave therapy sounds intense but is actually painless, quick and simple.

More correctly called Low Intensity Shock Wave Therapy – LISWT to distinguish it from its high intensity forerunner used to break up kidney stones, also known as lithotripsy. It essentially uses short bursts of sound waves.

The process has been well studied over the past 20 years and shown to increase the production of an opening up of existing blood vessels. It has been accepted as a viable treatment by the American and European Urological Associations.

Management of ED

Vacuum pump devices have been available for many decades and are able to produce a temporary erection although it usually requires the use of rings or bands to restrict the out-flow of blood from the penis. Vacuum pumps have a place in the management for a few men with ED but not most.

Everybody has of course heard of Viagra (Sildenafil) which was approved by the American FDA in March 1998, so we have just had the 20 year history of a specific medication to treat erectile dysfunction. Five years later, Cilias was approved. It’s advantage was having a longer duration of effect and did not need to be taken immediately before it was needed. However, some men failed to respond to either of these medications and require injection therapy with Caverject (prostaglandin E1- PGE1) which rapidly results in an erection.

The final step beyond using injectable therapy is to have an implantable device of which there are multiple kinds. The most common involving inflatable cylinders and a pumping device that can pump fluid in, expand and create an artificial erection.

The significant difference between LISWT for ED and all other treatments is that it is the only treatment aimed at the cause of impotence and erectile dysfunction and effectively is a lasting ‘cure’ vs an on-demand medically produced erection.

The treatment itself only take 5–10 minutes, is non-invasive, requires no anaesthetic, is a simple walk in, walk out session with no downtime. Usually done twice a week for 3 weeks for a total of 6 treatments. Some men need up to 12 treatments. Maximum results are usually seen after 8 weeks. About 75% of me will have significant improvement resulting in stronger, harder, longer lasting erections.

We have had men in their 60’s with diabetes no longer responsive to Viagra/Cialia who are able to obtain a spontaneous erection and have sex (this patient also had PRP Shot). Some men will go from not having an erection with Viagra before, to being able to have an erection with Viagra after – this is still counted as a success.

Benefits have been observed out to 2 years – most studies don’t go out that long to find out. The good news is that if the results begin to diminish the treatment can be repeated.

It is important for men to look at other lifestyle issues that relate to ED. If you need another reason to stop smoking then this is the best. Smoking leads to impotence – STOP! Get your weight and blood pressure under control, they are strongly related to vascular disease causing ED, heart attacks and strokes. Diabetes both type 1 and 2 cause ED. For type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise keep it in control and prevent ED. In fact exercise, in general, is good for improving erectile function.

LISWT has also been demonstrated to be efficacious in the treatment of Peyronies Disease (curvature of the penis).

Your First Step

The most difficult thing is getting over the natural shyness of booking a consultation. All our staff are experienced discussing intimate procedures and recognise the importance of discretion.

You will immediately feel at ease during your confidential doctor consultation and we encourage you to raise any questions or concerns you have about size, the treatment and the likely outcomes. Your doctor will explain the procedure, take some measurements and advise on your suitability for treatment, including appropriate volumes to achieve your desired results.

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