Low frequency shock waves therapy in the treatment of erectile dysfunction

Thursday 08 November 2018   Autore: Prof. A. Natali

Is it time to say goodbye to" love pills"?



 It is still early to say goodbye to the "love pills" but the low intensity shock waves are a candidate to represent a new therapeutic option for patients with mild and moderate erectile dysfunction, equivalent to one third of over three millions of patients in our country. The treatment does not cause side effects, is not invasive and is quick and painless. This is demonstrated by the preliminary results of the first Italian multicenter study coordinated by the Italian Society of Andrology (SIA), conducted on about 100 patients and still ongoing, with positive results in 70% of patients with a mild / medium degree, who stopped using drugs to return to spontaneous sexuality while in the more severe patients the response to oral therapy has improved in 40% of cases. The survey, started a year ago, involved patients aged 18 to 65 with erectile dysfunction on an organic basis treated in different centers: in Naples, Florence, Trento, Bari and Trieste. This is the first study coordinated by a scientific Society based on shock wave therapy for erectile dysfunction, with the aim of independently assessing the possible results and the most appropriate indications. The patients underwent an average of six shockwave sessions with 3000 low-voltage shots, so the effect was assessed with a penile echocolordoppler and questionnaires on sexual activity. "The follow-up data at six months are very promising - explains Alessandro Palmieri, SIA President and Study Coordinator - In men with mild / medium erectile dysfunction, the therapy is successful and guarantees a marked improvement in 70% of cases. Success means in this case possible recovery: the drugs against erectile dysfunction have revolutionized sexual habits but remain "on demand" care, incapable if not in rare cases to restore the erective function. Shock waves, on the other hand, manage to re-establish the mechanism of erection, allowing a return to natural sexuality without the need for planning relationships. However, this technique is still emerging and the research has the task of deepening the mechanisms of action of the method. This is why data from multicentric studies are needed to define the effects of treatment over the long term ". Shockwave technology was developed in Israel a few years ago and is a physical therapy used in other parts of the body, for example for the treatment of kidney stones or as an antalgic therapy. "Shockwaves are high-energy acoustic waves," explains Tommaso Cai, SIA Secretary. "They are applied to the penis through specific devices, in sessions lasting about ten minutes and repeated for a total of six total treatments". "Physical therapy is thus carried out exactly where it is needed and it works by stimulating penile circulation, through the gradual growth of new blood vessels (neo-angiogenesis), giving back to the patient a spontaneous erection, because circulation in the penis returns normal and can guarantee a efficient erection - adds Fabrizio Palumbo, SIA Advisor ". The treatment does not involve risks, pain or side effects and also has positive effects on the chronic pain of pelvic floor diseases and this opens future developments for extremely disabling prostate diseases "concludes Mondaini, SIA Advisor



Low frequency shock waves in the treatment of erectile dysfunction

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