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How is a vacuum device used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED)?

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A vacuum device, or "penis pump," is typically a clear plastic cylinder with a bulb or plunger and a constriction band.

You put your penis in the cylinder and start pumping. The suction creates a vacuum, so blood rushes in to fill the spaces in the spongy tissue of the penis, creating an erection. The erection lasts only as long as the blood stays in, so you slide the band down around the base of your penis, trapping the blood. It's safe to keep the band on for up to 30 minutes.

These devices are available without a prescription, but it's important to buy one from a reputable manufacturer. The device must include a safety control so you can't harm your penis with too much suction.

SOURCES: 

American Urological Association: "Erectile Dysfunction Clinical Guidelines Panel. The Treatment of Organic Erectile Dysfunction: A Patient's Guide," 1996; and "AUA Guideline on the Management of Erectile Dysfunction: Diagnosis and Treatment Recommendations," 2005. 

Gaines, K. , February 2004.  Urologic Nursing

Lamm, S. , HarperCollins, 2005.  The Hardness Factor

Medscape Drug Reference from First DataBank: "Alprostadil Urethral" and "Sildenafil Oral." 

Vivus, Inc.: "Administering MUSE," 2004. 

Reviewed by James Beckerman on March 21, 2019

SOURCES: 

American Urological Association: "Erectile Dysfunction Clinical Guidelines Panel. The Treatment of Organic Erectile Dysfunction: A Patient's Guide," 1996; and "AUA Guideline on the Management of Erectile Dysfunction: Diagnosis and Treatment Recommendations," 2005. 

Gaines, K. , February 2004.  Urologic Nursing

Lamm, S. , HarperCollins, 2005.  The Hardness Factor

Medscape Drug Reference from First DataBank: "Alprostadil Urethral" and "Sildenafil Oral." 

Vivus, Inc.: "Administering MUSE," 2004. 

Reviewed by James Beckerman on March 21, 2019

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What are some things to consider regarding surgery for erectile dysfunction (ED)?

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