Vacuum pump therapy

Vacuum pump therapy is an effective, noninvasive technique that yields good results in a large percentage of men with ED, whether their dysfunction's etiology is organic, psychogenic, or mixed. It is especially helpful for men who can only achieve a soft erection. The use of a vacuum pump is mainly indicated for ED patients who are likely to experience drug-drug or drug-disease interactions if they were to take PDE-5 inhibitors, or for those who refuse other therapeutic methods.

Mechanism and usage

The general mode of action of the vacuum pumps used as erectile aids is the creation of subatmospheric pressure around the penis. This induces the cavernous sinuses to fill with venous blood and the cavernous arteries and sinuses to dilate, resulting in their engorgement, increased blood flow into the penis, and subsequent erection (Broderick GA et al. 1992).

To initiate an erection, the man using one of these pumps prepositions a constriction ring (or a rubber band) onto the cylinder, into which he has placed his flaccid penis. He applies a generous amount of a lubricant jelly to the penile skin, the base of the penis, and around the rim, and to a few inches of the internal surface of the cylinder. He then uses the pump to create a vacuum of negative pressure around the penis.