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    Erectile Dysfunction: Vacuum Constriction Devices

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    Who Should Consider Using a Vacuum Constriction Device? continued...

    Vacuum constriction devices may be difficult to use in obese men because of fatty tissue in the lower abdomen. It's important to get a good seal against the skin.

    In addition, for men who've had prostate surgery, a regimen of vacuum device usage is recommended - four or five times daily -- to help increase the blood flow to the penis. It may take several months to work. Talk to your urologist about the specifics of this protocol.

    What Are the Side Effects of Vacuum Constriction Devices?

    An erection obtained by the vacuum constriction device is not the same as an erection achieved naturally. The penis tends to be purplish in color and can be cold or numb. Other side effects can include:

    • A black and blue mark or small area of bruising on the shaft of the penis. This is usually painless and generally will resolve in a few days.
    • Decrease in the force of ejaculation. The constriction band traps the ejaculate or semen at the time of orgasm. This is not dangerous and usually does not cause pain. The semen will usually dribble out once the constriction band is removed. Generally, this does not interfere with the pleasure of a climax or orgasm.

    How Much Does a Vacuum Constriction Device Cost?

    Vacuum constriction devices vary in cost from $300 to $500, depending on the brand and type. The battery-powered versions tend to be more expensive, but also tend to work a little more quickly. Battery-powered devices are especially helpful for men who do not have good hand strength or coordination or who have arthritis.

    There are several devices currently on the market that work effectively. Some of these devices can be obtained without a prescription.

    Does Insurance Cover Vacuum Constriction Devices?

    Most insurance policies, including Medicare, cover at least part of the costs of a vacuum constriction device, especially if a medical cause for ED has been documented. Medicaid, however, does not cover the device except under extreme circumstances in certain states.

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    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Stuart Bergman, MD on September 13, 2015
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