Surgical Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction (cont.)
Vascular Reconstructive Surgery
Vascular reconstructive surgery is another surgical treatment option for men with erectile dysfunction.
- Surgery to reconstruct the arteries within the penis can be performed. By increasing blood flow to the penis, a man is able to achieve or maintain an erection.
- Surgery to block off the veins within the penis can be done. By blocking off these veins, blood is not allowed to leave the penis, which enables a man to achieve or maintain an erection.
Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of vascular reconstructive surgery with you and your sexual partner.
Advantages of vascular reconstructive surgery include:
- Restores natural erections when successful
- Natural appearance
- No implant required
- If unsuccessful, does not interfere with other treatments
It must be stressed that very few men are potential candidates for vascular reconstructive surgery. In addition, extensive testing is required of men prior to undergoing this type of surgery. Additionally, there are very few medical centers that have experience in the management of vascular surgery for erectile dysfunction.
Although moderately effective, with a 40-50% success rate, the long-term effectiveness of vascular reconstructive surgery is generally only 2 years or less. Also, vascular reconstructive surgery is very expensive and associated with a relatively high relapse rate.
Other disadvantages of vascular reconstructive surgery are:
- Technically difficult surgery
- Risk of infection, scar tissue formation with distortion of the penis, and painful erections
- May cause shortening or numbness of the penis
Stephen W Leslie, MD, FACS
Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS
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