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    Vacuum Devices continued...

    They’re often used for penis rehabilitation, usually after prostate surgery. Your doctor will put you on a regimen designed to restore normal blood flow to the penis. This will allow you to get a spontaneous erection.

    It may take several months to see results.

    Vacuum erection device, also called vacuum constriction devices, are made of three parts:

    • A clear, plastic tube that slides over the penis
    • A manual or battery-operated pump that sucks air out of the cylinder, sending more blood to the penis
    • An elastic ring that is placed around the base of the penis after an erection is obtained. It’s like a rubber band. It helps maintain firmness by preventing blood from draining out of the penis. If you have venous leak syndrome, this may help you.

    A vacuum device can be cumbersome. It also will hinder spontaneity. The elastic ring may lead to skin irritation, bruising, loss of feeling or sensitivity, or pain.

    Vacuum devices are available with or without a prescription. Talk to your doctor before getting one.

    Surgery

    If all other ED treatments have failed, your doctor may recommend surgery.

    The operations are:

    • Placement of an implant (prosthesis) in the penis
    • Vascular reconstruction surgery to improve blood flow to or reduce blood leakage from the penis and surrounding structures. This procedure works in very few cases.

    Implants, or prostheses, help restore firmness for many men with ED. There are two types:

    Malleable implants are a pair of bendable rods placed inside the penis. You manually move your penis, and therefore rods, into a position suitable for sex. Such implants do not affect penis size.

    Inflatable implants are a pair of tubes placed in the penis and connected to a squeezable pump inside the scrotum. You squeeze the pump to get an erection. Inflatable implants can also help slightly increase length and width.

    Once you have a penile implant, you must always use it to get an erection.

    Implants may cause infection. If you have a urinary tract infection, skin infection, or systemic (body-wide) infection, you shouldn’t get one.

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