Treatment of erectile dysfunction begins with non-surgical procedures. If a patient suffers from erectile dysfunction because of a psychological problem, they often have success through visits with sex therapists. Medication for erectile dysfunction caused by physiological conditions can include oral enzyme inhibitors such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis, self-injected medication, urethral suppositories or vacuum erection devices.
Surgical treatment for erectile dysfunction may include penile implants or vascular reconstructive surgery.
Penile implantation is a surgical procedure where malleable or inflatable rods are inserted into the penis. There are three forms of penile prostheses: semi-rigid prostheses, inflatable prostheses and self-contained prostheses.
- Semi-rigid prostheses involve the surgical implantation of a silicon-covered flexible metal rod that provides rigidity for intercourse.
- Inflatable penile prostheses involve the surgical implantation of two soft silicone or plastic tubes into the penis, a small reservoir in the abdomen and a small pump in the scrotum. A patient produces an erection with this prosthesis by squeezing the pump in the scrotum to move sterile liquid from the reservoir in the abdomen into the tubes. A valve moves fluid back to the reservoir to stop the erection.
- Self-contained inflatable prostheses consist of a pair of inflatable tubes inserted into the penis with a pump attached to the end of the implant and a reservoir located in the shaft of the penis