Erectile Dysfunction Treatment at Wellstar
Hope in Addressing Erectile Dysfunction (ED)Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is both common and treatable. At Wellstar, our expert urologists can address your concerns and prescribe state-of-the-art, proven treatments that can help improve your symptoms. It is estimated that about 30 million American men — both younger and older — suffer from ED. Treatment for ED involves providing options to help you attain and maintain an erection in order to experience satisfying sexual intercourse. A variety of treatments are available which may help you achieve your goals for a healthy sexual life. It’s important for men to realize that there is no stigma surrounding ED, and help is readily available. In fact, the causes for ED can now be more easily identified than in the past. In 80% of cases, ED can be traced to a physical source, such as an injury, a disease such as diabetes, a medical operation, or substance use, including alcohol, tobacco or certain medications. It is also important to note that erectile function can almost always be restored through the available FDA-approved treatments. Your Wellstar urologist can assess and help address your concerns regarding sexual function. Our goal is to collaborate with you in honesty and empathy to create a personalized healthcare plan which will help you live your best life. Please schedule your appointment with a Wellstar urologist to get started on your path to better sexual health.
ED TreatmentsYour doctor may discuss the following FDA-approved ED treatment options to restore your sexual health:
- Oral medications (such as Viagra®, Cialis®, Levitra®, Stendra®, oral testosterone)
- Vacuum erection devices
- Intraurethral suppositories (such as MUSE®)
- Penile self-injections
- Penile implant procedure (such as Boston Scientific AMS 700™ or Coloplast Titan®)
Erectile Dysfunction Prevention
The most important prevention method for erectile dysfunction is to manage existing health problems and to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Reduce Your Risk of Erectile Dysfunction
You can lower your chances of erectile dysfunction through several methods:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t smoke or drink alcohol or abuse drugs or medication
- Reduce stress
- Exercise as recommended by your Wellstar physician
- Control certain physical conditions, including heart problems and diabetes
Tests and Screenings
Your Wellstar physician will conduct a physical examination and look over your personal and family medical history. In many situations, this might be enough for a treatment recommendation. Further tests might be needed and may include:
- Blood tests to check for signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels or other health issues.
- Urine tests or urinalysis to look for diabetes or other health conditions.
- Penile doppler ultrasound to check blood flow to your penis.
- Review of chronic medications to consider if any changes can be made.
Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis
If screening tests are abnormal, your Wellstar physician may perform further evaluations looking for evidence of erectile dysfunction.
- Blood tests
- Urine tests or urinalysis
- Penile doppler ultrasound
- This test predicts your response to medications which affect blood flow to the penis. The 30-minute procedure involves receiving a medication which dilates the arteries of the penis; then, blood flow into and out of the penis is studied via ultrasound. The penile doppler ultrasound can assess disease conditions and is helpful in determining the most effective ED treatment method for you.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
For treatment of erectile dysfunction, your Wellstar physician will first make certain that you are getting the correct care for any health problems, such as diabetes or heart ailments, that could be causing or worsening erectile dysfunction. Sometimes, psychological counseling to address stress, anxiety, depression or relationship issues is sufficient. Once those situations have been treated or dismissed as causes, the cause and severity of your condition, if it continues, will affect the exact treatment prescribed.
Oral medications have been a successful treatment method for many men suffering from erectile dysfunction. These include:
- Sildenafil (Viagra®) from Pfizer
- Tadalafil (Cialis®) from Icos/Lilly
- Vardenafil (Levitra®) from Bayer/Glaxo-Smith Kline
- Avanafil (Stendra®) from Metuchen
All of these medications have a similar effect in that they work by blocking a chemical in the body that causes blood to leave the penis. This leaves more of the chemical that causes an erection and allows blood to stay in the penis.
Other medications for erectile dysfunction include:
- Alprostadil self-injection: With this treatment, you use a fine needle to inject alprostadil into the base or side of your penis. Each injection usually produces an erection in about five to 20 minutes that can last an hour. Pain from such a fine needle is minor, but some side effects could include bleeding or formation of fibrous tissue at the injection site or a prolonged erection.
- Alprostadil penis suppository: With this treatment, you use a special applicator to insert a tiny suppository about two inches down into your penis. Side effects include pain, minor bleeding in the urethra, formation of fibrous tissue and dizziness.
- Testosterone replacement: When erectile dysfunction is caused by low levels of testosterone, your Wellstar physician may prescribe treatment to replace it.
Penile ImplantsThis treatment involves the surgical placement of inflatable or semi-rigid devices into the sides of the penis. The devices enable you to control when and how long you have an erection.
- Malleable penile implants: These use semi-rigid rods to manually create an erection. Coloplast Genesis® and Boston Scientific AMS Tactra™ are examples.
- Inflatable penile implants (IPP): These help create an erection using fluid. The inflatable implant typically involves three pieces: a cylinder, a fluid reservoir and a pump for physically enabling/disabling the erection, as desired. Coloplast Titan® and Boston Scientific AMS 700™ or AMS Ambicor™ are examples.
Other ED Treatments
- Vacuum erection device (VED): A VED is a vacuum constriction device consisting of a hollow tube attached to a hand-powered or battery-powered pump. After the tube is placed over your penis, the pump sucks air out, creating a vacuum that pulls blood into your penis. When an erection is achieved, a tension ring is placed at the base of your penis to restrict blood from flowing out. You remove the device, and the erection typically lasts long enough for sexual intercourse. The tension ring is then removed.
Ongoing Care for Erectile Dysfunction
Wellstar’s world-class, community-based physicians utilize state-of-the-art medical centers and hospitals with the latest technologies and medical resources. Our clinicians are dedicated to:
- Helping you create and maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Offering advice to prevent illness and injuries
- Providing early and appropriate care of acute illness to prevent its progression
Ongoing Care at Home
You and your Wellstar physician can work together to make your life more comfortable, so pay close attention to your body and your post-treatment regimen, and keep your doctor updated. As part of your post-treatment care and in addition to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise, you should:
- Keep track of all medications you take
- Keep track of your weight and blood pressure
- Write down your questions and never be afraid to ask your Wellstar physician for clarification regarding your condition or your treatment