Treating erectile dysfunction surgically

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

Erectile dysfunction can be a very disturbing condition for a man. Without being able to sustain an erection the sexual act can be very frustrating. Erectile dysfunction can lead to several psychological symptoms like depression, anxiety, and inferiority complex. It can have a severe impact on his relationships too.

Medications and psychotherapy form a major role in treating erectile dysfunction.
Surgically, erectile dysfunction can be treated with vascular reconstructive surgery. Since this surgery is technically difficult, has little success and very costly, it is rarely recommended.

Only a small percentage of men are eligible for this surgery. Young men who suffer from erectile dysfunction due to trauma to the penis and surrounding areas are considered perfect for this surgery.

In vascular reconstructive surgery, the blocked and injured arteries are bypassed using a new artery that is transferred from the abdominal muscle. The new artery replaces the blocked penile artery and helps restore the blood flow to the penis. Once the blood flow is restored, erection becomes possible when the blood fills the arteries during sexual arousal.

Vascular reconstructive surgery is a disappointment when one considers it for long term benefits. Studies show that only one in twenty men has any good results from this surgery. In younger men who suffer from erectile dysfunction due to injuries to the penis, the success rate is better, as good as 50-75%.

Penile implant is another surgical treatment available to treat erectile dysfunction. This method too is resorted to after all the conventional methods of medicines and psychotherapy have been tried.

This method involves placing a prosthetic device in the penis. Currently two types of penile implants are available - semi rigid rod implant and an inflatable implant.

Penile implant has a higher success rate compared to vascular reconstructive surgery. Almost all men with penile implant express satisfaction.