Shockwave therapy represents an exciting new avenue in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and is one of the hottest topics in sexual medicine today. Patients often ask, “Does shockwave therapy work for erectile dysfunction? It's advertised everywhere on the internet.”
Shockwave therapy is a newer technique in which we are able to increase the ability of a man to maintain an erection and reproduce the erections of prior days without the need for any additional therapies. Evidence supports the use in select patients who are younger with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction, those who are non-diabetics, and patients who would like to avoid pills or either non-responders or partial responders to PDE5 inhibitors or pills such as Viagra, Cialis, and those who were intolerant to pills.
It's very important to recognize that there are two kinds of wave therapies and there is a difference between what is called acoustic radial therapy vs. true linear shockwave therapy. The acoustic wave therapies marketed everywhere are very soft waves that are given to the penis. One such example is GAINSWave®. Acoustic or GAINSWave® therapy doesn’t have as much pressure, last as long, or penetrate the tissue as much as real shockwave. There is zero evidence for their efficacy and is basically like taking a toy hammer and hitting the penis. It does absolutely nothing.
On the other side, there is the true linear real shockwave therapy which is a little bit different. Real true linear shockwave therapy for the restoration or regeneration of erectile function has been around since 2010 when it was first described in Israel. Since then, there have been numerous data and publications on numerous devices that use real shockwave therapy.
These findings have shown to improve erectile function significantly, having excellent outcomes in selected patients. These are patients particularly who are slightly younger with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction who are either responsive or partially responsive to pills and for the most part non-diabetic. Men who have what we call vasculogenic erectile dysfunction, which means that there is an issue with the blood flow into the penis, can achieve significant improvement in terms of the ability to obtain an erection and maintain an erection.
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