Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be conceptualized as an impairment in the arousal phase of sexual response and is defined as the consistent or recurrent inability to attain and/or maintain penile erection sufficient for sexual satisfaction, including satisfactory sexual performance. Thanks to the introduction of new tests and highly effective therapies, the management of ED has changed every decade since 1970. In the evaluation and treatment of ED, we implement patient-centered care, an approach that consciously adopts the patient’s perspective and respects his ideas, expectations, and values.
The evaluation of an individual with ED starts with obtaining a thorough history, physical examination, and when indicated, selective laboratory testing and questionnaires to help assess its severity. ED can be a risk marker for underlying cardiovascular disease, hormonal imbalance, or other conditions which may warrant further investigation and treatment. At West Coast Urology, we offer a range of treatment options for men with erectile dysfunction. First line remedies include dietary changes and increased physical activity. Multiple affordable oral medications are available to help improve the strength and duration of erections. Vacuum device is another conservative treatment option which can be effective when appropriately used. In more severe cases of ED, we offer penile doppler ultrasound to assess blood flow in and out of the penis during an artificial erection, and assess effectiveness of medications injected directly into the penis (self injection therapy). The ultrasound can also uncover any significant penile plaque (Peyronie’s disease), which may in turn affect quality and strength of erections. Shockwave treatment of penis is an emerging investigational treatment option. For the most severe cases, surgery for insertion of a penile implant is offered to appropriately selected patients.
For more in depth information on Erectile Dysfunction, please refer to this Urology Care Foundation™ link:
Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment