Shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction | TREATMENTS AND SURGERIES


Shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction | TREATMENTS AND SURGERIES

Approximate time40 min

Shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction relies on a technique that has been used in other areas of medicine for many years. Also referred to as extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), the treatment involves the application of shock waves to the affected area.  Notably, it’s been used, in the fields of urology and orthopedics, with urologists employing high-intensity shock waves to break up kidney stones and orthopedic surgeons using lower-intensity waves to break up calcium deposits in tendons.

How do shock waves work?

Shock waves are acoustic pulses that, when applied to the penis at low intensity, can penetrate the tissues of the corpora cavernosa. This triggers microtrauma, which leads to the reparation of blood vessels and the development of new blood vessels. Once the penis has healed, it will have improved vascularization and harder erections.

What does shockwave therapy involve?

The medical goal of this therapy to provide men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction an enduring treatment so that they can resume spontaneous sexual activity and normal intimacy. Shockwave therapy consists of administering, over several treatments, a handheld probe that emits low-intensity shock waves to at least five or six sections of the corpus cavernosum of the penis. The treatment is painless and doesn’t take long.

How should you prepare for shockwave therapy?

This treatment is performed in-office and doesn’t involve any special preparation. There are few side effects, with the most common being skin bruising. The therapy is carried out by a nurse. During the first appointment, Dr. Marois will examine the patient, explain the procedure, administer the first round of treatment and provide care instructions.

How many treatments are required?

An initial series of six shockwave treatments need to be administered at a rate of one or two treatments per week. Each of these six sessions lasts about 30 minutes. Dr. Marois then performs a follow-up evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the first six treatments. If the therapy had a significant impact on erection quality, a second series of six treatments will be administered. Patients should bear in mind that in order to observe an improvement in erection quality, they must undergo a minimum of three sessions. If Dr. Marois finds that the therapy has not resulted in a significant improvement in erection quality, another treatment option will be proposed.

Who is eligible for shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction?

Shockwave therapy is a suitable treatment for patients whose erectile dysfunction is the result of vascular problems. In other words, it’s the preferred treatment when the corpus cavernosum in the penis is not vascularized enough to allow sufficient blood flow to achieve a solid erection. This treatment is often recommended for men suffering from heart disease or blocked arteries. Smokers may also benefit from shockwave therapy if they experience erectile dysfunction. Additionally, it’s sometimes recommended for men who must undergo a radical prostatectomy or radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer and who are experiencing weaker erections as a result. In order to improve the effectiveness of the treatment, a daily dose of Tadalafil may be prescribed to promote penile recovery and erection rehabilitation.

Is the treatment effective?

  • The efficacy of shockwave treatment for erectile dysfunction depends primarily on the severity of the case.
  • The average efficacy of shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction is 64%.
  • The efficacy of shock wave therapy for erectile dysfunction is higher in patients who respond to PDE5 inhibitors (Sildénafil and Tadalafil).
  • The efficacy of shock wave therapy for erectile dysfunction is lower in patients over the age of 60 and among those who have diabetes.
  • Improvements in erection quality from shockwave therapy are long-lasting. The therapy can even have a curative effect, resulting in stiffer erections that occur spontaneously without the use of pharmacological means and without side effects.
  • When a patient has a minor case of erectile dysfunction, there’s a 76% chance that the therapy will provide up to two years of effective treatment.

What devices are used in shockwave therapy?

The PiezoWave2 and Zimmer are used for the therapy. These devices are specifically designed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Medical studies

Effects of Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy on Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Sex Med. 2017 Jan; 14(1):27-35.

Low-intensity Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment Improves Erectile Function: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Eur Urol. 2017 Feb;71(2): 223-233.

Low-intensity Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Urology. 2018 Sep;119: 97-103.

Motil, I., Kubis, I., Sramkova, T.: Treatment of Vasculogenic Erectile Dysfunction with Piezowave2 Device. Application of Low Intensity Shockwaves Using Novel Linear Shockwave Tissue Coverage (LSTC-ED®) Technique. A Prospective, Multicenter, placebo-controlled Study. Advances in Sexual Medicine, 2016, 6, 15-18.

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