Vacuum erection devices to treat erectile dysfunction and early penile rehabilitation following radical prostatectomy


Vacuum erection devices (VED) are becoming first-line therapies for erectile dysfunction and preservation (rehabilitation) of erectile function following treatment for prostate cancer. Currently, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors have limited efficacy in elderly patients or patients with moderate to severe diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease. Alternative therapies, such as VED, have emerged as a primary option for patients refractory to oral therapy. VED has also been successfully used in combination treatment with oral therapy and penile injections. More recently, there has been interest in the use of VED in early intervention protocols to encourage corporeal rehabilitation and prevention of post-radical prostatectomy venoocclusive dysfunction. This is evident by the preservation of penile length and girth seen with the early use of the VED following radical prostatectomy. There are ongoing studies to help preserve penile length and girth with early use of VED following prostate brachytherapy and external beam radiation for prostate cancer. Recently, there has also been interest in VED to help maintain penile length following surgical correction of Peyronie’s disease and to increase penile size before implantation of the penile prosthesis.

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Correspondence to Craig D. Zippe.

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Zippe, C.D., Pahlajani, G. Vacuum erection devices to treat erectile dysfunction and early penile rehabilitation following radical prostatectomy. Curr Urol Rep 9, 506–513 (2008).

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  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Radical Prostatectomy
  • Alprostadil
  • Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy
  • Penile Prosthesis