Shockwave Therapy for Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction
Q: Do all types of shockwave therapy work to treat ED?
A: NO. The only wave therapy proven to work for treatment of ED is called FOCUSED SHOCKWAVE THERAPY. Focused shockwave therapy has been shown to significantly improve erectile function in men with vasculogenic ED (the most common type) in randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled clinical trials. There is NO strong evidence of efficacy for other therapies including radial acoustic wave therapy. Focused shockwave therapy addresses the root cause of ED.
Q: How do I know if I have vasculogenic ED rather than another kind?
A: Vasculogenic ED is the most common type. Other types are neurogenic or psychogenic. We can usually discern between the three based upon your medical history. Furthermore, if you have any response to pills such as Viagra or Cialis you likely have a vasculogenic cause of ED.
Q: How does focused shockwave therapy work to improve vasculogenic ED?
A: Shockwave therapy causes microscopic trauma to the erectile bodies of the penis, causing release of growth factors which stimulate growth of new blood vessels, improving blood flow and rigidity of erections.
Q: Does focused shockwave therapy hurt?
A: No. Most people feel no sensation at all because the energy penetrates far beneath the skin (where sensation is most). A few people feel mild vibration but no pain.
In contrast, treatments such as acoustic wave therapy do not penetrate deeply and therefore generally require medication to numb the skin.
Q: How long does a shockwave treatment take?
A: About 15 minutes.
Q: How many treatments are required?
A: Not surprisingly, there is a relationship between efficacy of shockwave therapy and number of treatments. Therefore, we usually recommend more treatments for men with more severe ED. Many studies used 6 treatments, and patients usually choose between 6 and 12 treatments.
Q: Are there risks?
A: As with any procedure, there are risks. However, complications are very rare. The most common complication is mild bruising.
Q: Where can I find focused shockwave therapy for ED?
A:The Men’s Center is the only men’s health clinic in the Lowcountry to offer focused shockwave therapy. We utilize the Storz Duolith SD1, which is the shockwave generator used in many of the positive clinical trials.
For more information about shockwave therapy as well as other ED treatments, please check out our Shockwave Therapy page.