Vacuum Erection Device

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How does a Vacuum Erection Device (VED) work?

Also known as a vacuum pump or penis pump, a vacuum erection device is a cylindrical pump placed over the penis that helps a man obtain and maintain an erection. A VED can be operated manually or battery powered. Here’s how it works:

  • The pump is placed over the penis by the patient.
  • A vacuum is created by the pump, drawing blood into the penis to obtain an erection.
  • The erection is maintained by a constriction band which is placed around the base of the penis. This can be left on for up to 30 minutes.

How successful are Vacuum Erection Devices?

These devices are often used by men who are not comfortable taking medication or have failed medication but do not want to have surgery. Satisfaction rates range between 50% and 80%. However, many patients move on to other forms of treatment due to some of the disadvantages of the VED:

  • The VED can take away the spontaneity from sexual intercourse and its use can be cumbersome.
  • Since there is no active blood flow while the restriction band is in place, the penis can feel unnaturally cool to the touch.
  • Since the erectile bodies extend beyond the pubic bone, some patients will get a hinge effect in which the penis does not stand straight up.
vacuum erection device success rates
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Penile Rehabilitation following Prostate Cancer Treatment

The nerves responsible for erections can be damaged after prostate cancer treatment with surgery or radiation. A VED can be used as part of a penile rehabilitation program following prostate cancer treatment. The VED allows for more blood flow into the penis, which keeps the tissue and nerves healthy. Daily use of a VED can also minimize loss of penile length.

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