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Bionic Men: Using Mechanical Devices to Cure Impotence

Word Count:

There are mechanical and surgical treatments for impotence that a
sufferer can explore with the help of medical advice.

sexual impotence, psychological impotence, reasons for impotence,
impotence symptoms

Article Body:
Over the last few years, impotent men around the world have relied on
some little blue pills to help them obtain and maintain their erections.
But the pills are not without their complications. Some men experience
side effects while taking oral phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors
such as Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil).
These side effects can range from headache, flushing of the face and
body, indigestion, runny nose, palpitations, nausea, vomiting, muscle
pains and vision disturbances. These medications are also contraindicated
for patients taking nitrate-based drugs or alpha-blockers, because
interaction with PDE5 inhibitors can be fatal. Viagra has also been
reported to cause permanently impaired vision or even blindness in some
patients. Other drug treatments available involve direct injections to
the penis or shooting pellets down the urinary pipe, both of which can be
unpleasant for patients. It is because of these side effects from drug
treatments that some men prefer to explore other possibilities such as
mechanical or surgical methods to deal with their condition.

           There are a number of mechanical devices available to aid
impotent men, such as vacuum pumps, penis rings and vibrators. Vacuum
pumps are cylinders that fit over the penis, which allow the user to draw
up blood to the member by sucking out the air. Once the member is
engorged, a specially designed penis ring can be fitted on to the base of
the shaft to help stop the blood from draining back to the body.
Vibrating devices can also be used to vitalize the male member either by
direct contact or by stimulating the prostate. Some men may feel too
embarrassed to purchase such devices because of a social stigma attached
to them. However, privacy issues can be dealt with by ordering these
through the Internet.

           On the other hand, surgery is a much more drastic step to
take when dealing with impotence. Surgery usually has one of three goals:
to implant a device that can cause the penis to become erect; to
reconstruct arteries to increase flow of blood to the penis; or to block
off veins that allow blood to leak from the penile tissues. Prostheses
are mechanical devices that surgeons insert into the penis to allow men
to manually raise or inflate the penis for sexual intercourse and to
lower it afterwards. Patients can choose to have either a flexible
sterile rod put into the shaft or an inflatable implant that comes with
its own fluid reservoir and pump, although the latter is preferred
because it leaves the penis into a more natural state. Possible problems
can occur as with many other implants, such as bleeding, infection and
the breakdown of the mechanical device although the latter has been
somewhat limited because of recent technological advances.

           There are cases of impotence that benefit from penile
arterial revascularization. It is designed to keep blood flowing by
rerouting it around a blocked or injured vessel at the base of the shaft,
usually due to a pelvic fracture or blunt trauma. This procedure is
recommended for men under the age of 45 with no known risk factors for
atherosclerosis, a condition where progressive thickening and hardening
of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries as a result of fat
deposits on their inner lining. Surgeons microscopically connect nearby
arteries to keep the blood circulating into the penis.

           On the other hand, venous ligation surgery is done to correct
leaking veins. This leakage decreases the amount of blood to the penis,
thereby resulting in a diminished erection. Surgeons intentionally block
off problem areas to ensure that the appropriate amount of blood is
trapped to create an erection. However, ligation only has a 50% long term
success rate so it is rarely used to correct impotence.

           Patients who are considering vascular surgery should be aware
that it is still widely regarded as experimental and may not be covered
by your health insurance. There are also conditions that can exclude men
from being a candidate for surgery, such as insulin-dependent diabetes,
atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and tobacco
use. The procedures can also cause penile scarring(fibrosis), numbness or
some pain.

           It is important to discuss the possible complications with
your doctor before consenting to any type of surgery. Also, because of
the experimental nature of the procedures, not all urologists may be
trained to perform the delicate surgery. If necessary, get a second
opinion. It might be a better idea to try non-surgical treatment options
before attempting anything invasive. Most importantly, don't forget that
the brain is the primary sexual organ in the body. Being open with your
partner about the condition and exploring other avenues of pleasure can
be just as beneficial to you as any medical procedures.

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