After prostate surgery (which may be necessary for a variety of health issues, including cancer), your doctor may suggest penile rehabilitation. This type of rehabilitation helps the nerves that cause erections recover after prostate surgery; and for many, it can help to use a vacuum erection device as part of this treatment.
While vacuum pumps can’t restore nerve damage or help resolve other nerve issues, vacuum pumps can help improve blood flow into the penis, which helps keep the nerves and surrounding tissue healthy post-surgery.
The anatomy of erectile function
Inside the penis, two cylinder-shaped chambers called the corpora cavernosa run the length of the penis. They contain a maze of blood vessels, tissue, and open pockets. The urethra, the tube that urine and semen flow through, runs along the underside of them, in the spongy tissue of the corpus spongiosum. Two main arteries (one in each of the corpora cavernosa) and several veins move blood in and out. Nerves relay messages to and from other parts of your body, including those that signal an erection.
After surgery or nerve damage, you may experience some swelling of the scrotum for a week or two. Many patients also experience erectile dysfunction, especially after surgery for prostate cancer. This is because the nerves that control erections may be disrupted and take a long time to heal.
To improve blood flow to your penis and enhance your ability to have an erection, your doctor may start you on an oral medication or recommend you use vacuum pumps to help achieve erections.
Dealing with erectile issues after surgery or nerve damage
Erectile issues are very common after prostate surgery, and can be frustrating to deal with. Men may also experience a decrease in libido due to post-surgical fatigue.
For some men, a vacuum pump like VaxAid may be helpful. When used correctly, these pumps create a vacuum around the penis. This vacuum draws blood into the penis, quickly giving the user an erection, with continued use resulting in a long-lasting erection – a completely scientific process. Vacuum pumps are easy to use, and also avoid potential drug interactions and serious side effects from medications and other treatments.
Can you use a vacuum pump if you have nerve damage?
Vacuum pumps can typically be used safely by anyone who is experiencing erectile issues, including those caused by damage to the nerves that control the erection reflex. However, it’s important to speak with your doctor first to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
In general, vacuum pumps are helpful if you’re experiencing:
- Damage to nerves that control the erection reflex
- Poor blood flow into the penis
- Excess blood flow out of the penis during erection