In this non-invasive treatment, shock waves are delivered by a device applied to the skin of the penis in several areas.
ESWT for Erectile Dysfunction and Peyronie’s Disease
In some men with declining erections, particularly if this is due to narrowed blood vessels (vascular disease), the use of low-energy shock waves to the penis may improve the strength of erections.
In Urology, shock waves have already been used for many years to break up kidney stones (lithotripsy). They are also very widely used in the treatment of orthopedic problems, for example, tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis.
In the field of men’s health, the use of shock waves has been suggested for enhancing the success of treatments for chronic prostatitis, Peyronie’s disease, and erectile dysfunction.
LiSWT (Low-intensity Shock Wave Therapy also referred to as ESWT) use has been steadily increasing worldwide since 2013, particularly in Europe and North America.
How does LiSWT work?
There is still some discussion about exactly how shock wave therapy works in erectile dysfunction, but it appears to promote stem cells to migrate to the treated area, and for new small blood vessels to develop and open up in the penis.
Men who currently respond to oral erection drugs, the PDE5 drugs, like Viagra, may find they no longer need them after LiSWT, or men where Viagra no longer works may find that after LiSWT they start responding to Viagra again.
What does LiSWT feel like? Is it safe?
In this non-invasive treatment, shock waves, which are pulsed sound waves, are delivered by a device that is applied to the skin of the penis in several areas.
The number of shockwave pulses delivered, as well as their frequency and energy, are customized to each condition treated and to each individual patient.
Extensive experience to date has shown that it is a very safe treatment, with no complications. It does not cause any damage to surrounding nerves and blood vessels. In fact, shock wave therapy is being used to treat certain cases of neuralgia (pain caused by a nerve).
It does not require an anesthetic and is comfortable, with most men experiencing a mild tingling feeling in the penis with each shock wave. The intensity of the shock wave can be adjusted, and this ensures the intensity of the treatment is below the patient’s pain threshold.
How many times should I have LiSWT to treat erectile dysfunction?
The most common recommendation is treatment twice in week 1, twice in week 3, and twice in week 5.
Each session lasts about 20 -30 minutes and is administered by the specialist urology nurse, under the direction of a doctor.
Before and after the treatments, you will fill in questionnaires about your erection problem and erection hardness, so that we can monitor improvement, and help us understand how well it is working.
LiSWT is not suitable for you if you are taking the following medications:
- Long-term treatment with oral steroids (e.g. prednisone).
- A known blood-clotting disorder
- Patients taking anticoagulants such as warfarin or the newer oral anticoagulants (e.g. apixaban, rivaroxaban). Note that aspirin is not a contraindication.
LiSWT for Peyronie’s Disease
Peyronie’s disease is a connective tissue disorder of the penis characterized by the triad of bent erections, pain in the penis with erections, and palpable penile plaque. Peyronie’s disease is quite common, affecting as many as one in 11 men, despite the lack of public awareness.
The principal finding in men with Peyronie’s disease is the deposition of scar tissue in the tunica albuginea. All of the clinical symptoms are derived from this event. The curvature of the penis is due to the fact that scar tissue does not stretch as well as normal tissue.
Although most men with Peyronie’s disease report that their penis is bent upwards, a variety of other abnormalities are frequently observed, including bends in other directions, complex bends, divots in the side of the penis, and hourglass deformities.
The palpable plaque is the actual scar tissue that has been deposited on the outer covering of the erectile bodies. This is present in the vast majority — but not all — patients with Peyronie’s disease. The plaque may become calcified, like bone, with severe disease. Erectile function may be adversely affected by Peyronie’s disease.
Shock Wave Therapy – Effective Method to Treat PD
The procedure involves the use of shockwave lithotripsy technology to treat Peyronie’s disease. Extracorporeal shockwaves are high-pressure, low-frequency sound waves, generated by a device outside the body and applied to the affected tissue in a site-specific manner.
In Peyronie’s disease, the penile plaque is the target of these shockwaves and is generally localized using an ultrasound scanner. Shockwaves per session range from 2000-3000, with the average person receiving around 3-5 treatment sessions.
When you have shockwave therapy for Peyronie’s disease, we put a handpiece against the affected area of your penis and use sonic gel to transmit single pulses of energy. This process helps produce new blood vessels in the site and breaks up plaque, which helps increase blood flow in the area.
Shockwave therapy usually takes between 25-30 minutes and doesn’t require any anesthesia or numbing cream. At the most, you might feel a mild tingling or buzzing sensation throughout the entire treatment.
For any additional questions referred to ED or PD treatment with the help of shock wave therapy, please contact our experts here and get consulted for free.