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Vacuum devices


 

Vacuum Devices

VEDs are a useful noninvasive treatment for ED. They involve a cylindrical device that is placed over the penis. Many types of VEDs are now available, and it is recommended that only those available by prescription should be used.¹ ² A VED, which mechanically creates penile blood engorgement, consists of a vacuum chamber or cylinder, a pump to produce negative pressure, and constriction rings.³

VEDs can be used to treat organic or psychogenic ED. Current reviews report successful results in men with a variety of organic etiologies, including spinal cord injuries, postprostatectomy, diabetes, and arterial insufficiency.³

After the penis and constriction rings are coated with water-soluble lubricant and the rings are loaded onto the cylinder base, the cylinder is placed over the penis with the base held firmly against the pubis to maintain a seal. The pump is then activated to slowly create negative pressure, or a vacuum, inside the cylinder, which draws blood into the corpora cavernosa, producing an erection.¹ ³

Once the penis is engorged, the constriction band is pulled from the cylinder onto the base of the penis. The negative pressure is released through a valve, and the cylinder is removed. It takes an average of 2 to 2½ minutes to create an erection through this procedure, according to recent reviews.³

The erectile state produced by VEDs differs from a normal erection: penile skin temperature is lower, the veins of the penis appear distended, and penile circumference is increased. In addition, the penis may pivot at the base, requiring the patient to stabilize the penis during intercourse.¹

 

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