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Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is defined as difficulty getting or keeping an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse. ED is a disease that affects millions of men across the country.
It is not rare for you to have issues with erections from time to time. However, if you are experiencing difficulty routinely, and you wish to have sexual relations, you should seek treatment from your urologist.
The incidence of ED increases dramatically with age, and it affects nearly 50% of men over the age of 60. The good news is that virtually all men can have an erection with proper treatment.
How Does An Erection Work?
The erection is a vascular event. The penis becomes rigid when it fills with blood. In order to have a good erection, the blood vessels to the penis must be in good shape.
Consequently, the erection is more of a cholesterol issue than a testosterone issue. Despite what you read on the Internet, testosterone has very little to do with the erection.
The most important causes of ED are diabetes and hypertension. Other important causes include age over 50, medications, psychiatric disorders, smoking, overuse of alcohol, heart disease, obesity, and surgery. One important surgery that can lead to ED is the radical prostatectomy for the treatment of prostate cancer.
ED can take a negative toll on a man’s life and can cause the following problems:
- Low self-esteem
- Distress for the man and his partner
- Performance Anxiety- Which can worsen ED
The treatment of ED is a step-wise process, starting with the most conservative therapies, and then advancing to more involved treatments for more difficult cases.
Weight loss and exercise is a non-medical, long-term approach to the treatment of ED. It is one of the best ways to restore normal erectile function. If you are overweight, this can lead to circulatory problems which can interfere with your erection. If you are having trouble losing weight, speak with your doctor. He or she can design a diet and exercise plan specifically for you.
The first step in the medical treatment of ED are the pills that include Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. These meds are called 5 phosphodiesterase inhibitors and they work by dilating the artery to the penis. These are the only oral medications that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations for the treatment of ED.
For the best results, you should take these pills about an hour or two before having sexual intercourse. Be sure to speak with Dr. Lazare regarding your medical history and give him the list of medications that you take. You cannot take Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra if you are taking nitrates for your heart.
If oral medications do not work, self-injection therapy with prostaglandin E1 should be considered. This medication is highly effective and is FDA approved for the treatment of ED. This treatment entails an injection into the side of the penis with a very fine needle. You will be given self-injection lessons by Dr. Lazare to ensure that you get the most out of treatment.
The penile implant is the final treatment of ED. Although the placement of a penile implant is a surgery that carries risks, this treatment has the highest satisfaction rate of all the ED treatments, with patient satisfaction exceeding 90%. Understanding the pros and cons of this procedure is key to making an educated decision. Be sure to discuss any concerns or questions that you may have with Dr. Lazare.
The 3 piece penile implant is a device that is inserted through a small incision in the scrotum, which is the pouch of skin that contains the testicles.
When you want to have sex, you compress a small bulb located within the scrotum. Water is transferred from the reservoir into two cylinders located within the penis. This produces an erection. After sex, you squeeze a small button located inside your scrotum and your erection will disappear.
The procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure and takes about an hour to complete. The operation can be done under general or spinal anesthesia. With the penile implant, the penis is completely rigid during sex and is completely soft after sex.
The implant is fully concealed under the skin. Nobody will know that you have it. In most patients, sensation, pleasure, orgasm, and fertility are preserved.
Following penile implant surgery, you will feel some discomfort, which can be controlled with prescribed pain medication. Swelling and bruising may persist for a few weeks. For the first 2 weeks, you should limit your physical activity.
Sex can be resumed about four weeks after surgery. However, if there is lasting pain or swelling, the use of the implant should be delayed. Dr. Lazare will provide you with post-op instructions.
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If you are dealing with ED and are looking for a long-term solution, contact our Brooklyn, NY office today at (718) 795-2594. Dr. Jonathan Lazare is a board-certified urologist and a highly skilled surgeon. He also has an eye for detail. Dr. Lazare can help you regain your confidence and help you enjoy happy and healthy sex life.