Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common problems experienced by men following a prostatectomy. It can take one to two years of natural recovery time. The Penile Rehabilitation Program at the Men’s Clinic at UCLA Health offers comprehensive treatment options for men suffering from erectile dysfunction post-prostatectomy. Patients are encouraged to begin the penile rehabilitation program in the weeks immediately following their surgeries. Those who elect to participate are offered treatment options designed to facilitate recovery and help them attain and maintain an erection. Although there is some controversy in the literature, most sexual health experts agree that early rehabilitation may improve eventual recovery of erectile function.
The UCLA Penile Rehabilitation Program includes the following treatment options that may be selected for a patient:
All prostatectomy patients are encouraged to begin taking oral medication following their surgery to help increase blood flow to the penis. Patients who participate in the UCLA penile rehabilitation program will generally take a low dose of oral medication daily.
This is a medicated pellet about half the size of a grain of rice that is placed in the urinary opening using a disposable plastic applicator. It allows the urethra to absorb the medication into the surrounding erectile tissues to create an erection. The duration of the effect is approximately 30-60 minutes, with an erection beginning 5-10 minutes after the administration of the drug. Patients participating in the UCLA penile rehabilitation program are instructed to administer the pellet twice per week.
This treatment involves the injection of medicine into the erectile bodies of the penis. The drug is injected through a fine-gauge “insulin-style” needle. This increases the amount of blood in the penis and causes an erection that can generally occur for 30 minutes to two hours. Patients are instructed to administer the injection twice a week for six months.
Vacuum Erection Pump
The vacuum erection pump is a non-invasive treatment for erectile dysfunction. The vacuum pump consists of a plastic cylinder that is placed over the penis, allowing blood to be drawn inside more effectively. This particular therapy may be administered for 5-10 minutes a day, at a minimum of twice per week. Patients who choose this therapy will receive complete instructions on how to use the pump.
Board-certified urologists staff The Men’s Clinic at UCLA and you can be assured you are getting an experienced physician performing your evaluation and treatment in a relaxed and comfortable environment. For more information and to schedule an appointment, please call the UCLA Urology Appointment line at (310) 794-7700.