Peyronie’s Disease & Penile Vacuum Pumps
Penile vacuum pump therapy using a Vacuum Erection Device (VED) is a relatively new therapeutic option for men with Peyronie’s Disease (PD).
The technique is designed to use vacuum induced mechanical forces to lengthen and widen the tunica albuginea resulting in a reduction of the penile curvature in erection.
This concept of VED therapy in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) dates as far back as 1874 when the American physician John King described a method of improving erections by using a small vacuum pump. Patents were granted in Germany and the USA to the American entrepreneur Geddings Osbon who designed the product for his own use, after experiencing erectile dysfunction at the age of 60. He then obtained the permission of the American Food and Drug Administration to produce a vacuum-device which he named the Osbon Erec-Aid.
From ED to PD
To date, no studies have directly evaluated the efficacy of VED on increasing penile length in men with PD. However, a number of studies have demonstrated the ability of VEDs to maintain or increase length in other clinical settings. This is valuable given the importance of penile length in men with PD.
Some research has shown that exposure to vacuum increased central cavernous arterial blood flow velocities in patients has led to a reduction in the angle of curvature for men with soft/fleshy plaques and a smaller reduction for men with hard plaques. And both groups had less penile pain following the treatment.
However, downsides of VED therapy include penile bruising, petechiae and sometimes extensive hematoma or pain. What’s more continuous use of VED may result in pigmentation of the penile skin due to repeated skin bruising.
While there is limited clinical data on VED and PD it is thought that it could have a role as a treatment for men choosing to have surgery for their PD either before or after undergoing surgery.
However, the use Shockwave Therapy means that the vast majority of men can avoid painful invasive surgery and since there are few comparative randomized studies, it is difficult to identify the benefits of using vacuum devices for men suffering from Peyronie’s disease.
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