Each treatment session lasts around 20 minutes. When you arrive at the clinic the specialist shockwave practitioner will take you to the therapy room. After suitable questioning and when appropriate you will you will asked to undress appropriately for the treatment and lie on the treatment bed. After a relaxed and full explanation the shockwave practitioner will then apply the treatment using a special probe on different parts of your penis and perineum. Most patients experience no pain during the session but you will be aware of a sensation locally in the treatment area. It is important that if you do not feel comfortable you let your physiotherapist know and the shockwave intensity will be adjusted accordingly.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shockwave therapy for ED can help the following:
- Patients with vascular related erection problems due to age and/or lifestyle factors
- Erectile Dysfunction when medicines have tried and failed
- Patients with mild to moderate ED that respond well to PDE-5 inhibitors might be able to regain their natural erections and no longer need – or reduce their dependence on medication.
- Patients with moderate to severe ED that do not respond to PDE-5 medication and rely on injections or other topical treatments may become more respondent to PDE-5 medication after shockwave therapy.
- Shockwave therapy will in most cases improve the outcomes of any other treatment modality.
- Reduction in pain levels for patients with CPPP or those patients with Peyronie’s who suffer pain during intercourse.
The biological effects of shockwave therapy are permanent and have been scientifically proven. However, erectile dysfunction can be caused by a number of factors and those factors will determine if and when the condition can reoccur. Lifestyle factors or underlying health conditions could cause the problem to resurface in time if they are not resolved. That is why we also give guidance on how to address these factors in the long term to promote better and longer lasting results. Results cannot be guaranteed and may vary from individual to individual but 70-80+% of patients do see positive results.
Research is ongoing to answer this and other questions, but theoretically as it is a safe and natural way to stimulate your body’s healing response then yes it is possible to have ‘top up’ sessions, but we find the progress can last up to a year and more.
Normally patients feel no pain at all immediately after the treatment, but a mild and diffused aching pain may occur a few hours later. This dull pain can last for 24-48 hours, as we are trying to stimulate a pro-inflammatory response. We therefore advise you not to take anti-inflammatories before or after a treatment session and if there is any residual, to try other basic over the counter pain medication if required.
Shockwave therapy is compatible with other treatments such as medication, hormone and psychological therapy interventions. If anything the results of these other methods can be enhanced by treatment.
Unlike some other clinics we realise that shockwave therapy is best applied with a range of other healthcare advice and support. We coach our clients on the use of other lifestyle changes to maximise the results, these may include:
- Pelvic floor exercises
- General strength program
- Smoking advice
- Weight reduction guidance
We provide these as part of your treatment protocol to maximise lifestyle changes to complement your shockwave therapy sessions.
This is an area of very active research and a number of treatment protocols have been suggested. Some lasting anywhere between 4 and 12 sessions. Unfortunately, the clinical trials investigating these protocols are quite different in a number of ways such as the energy of the shockwaves applied, number of shockwaves, number of sessions, duration of treatment and time between sessions and the technology of the shockwave machines.
Our own experience and the studies so far indicate that the number of sessions will depend on the severity of ED, the presence of comorbidities and the response to treatment. At our clinic as a minimum, we recommend 6 twenty-minute sessions over a three-six week period. But some patients in the moderate to severe category may require up to 12 sessions on a roughly weekly basis.
The number of pulses may range should be between 3000 and 5000 shock waves per session and there is evidence that administering more shock waves leads to greater improvements. It also seems beneficial to deliver treatment to multiple sites to reach the vascular bed of the erection mechanism.
lthough we have both radial and focused shockwave in clinic the research indicates that focused shockwave is the treatment of choice. We do use radial and focused on other conditions such as plantar fasciopathy, achilles tendinopathy, tennis/golfers elbow to name a few. So when in clinic you can be assured you are receiving the best standard of care.
We use focussed shockwave which is the type of shockwave which has provided the most research evidence and the best effects. The equipment we use is from Storz Medical which is one of the leading manufacturers of this type of equipment. The protocols we use have proven treatment benefits, but there is no single protocol that applies to all patients.
Treatment is administered in a private clinic setting by an experienced specialist physiotherapist and shockwave therapist. The clinic is a relaxed healthcare setting with patients attending for a wide range of physiotherapeutic treatments to a wide range of medical conditions and therefore offers private and discrete access to your specialist. Our shockwave specialist treats a wide range of medical conditions in addition to erectile dysfunction so patients may be coming in for physiotherapy/shockwave therapy for a number of different complaints.
There is a simple questionnaire which will analyse whether you may have erectile dysfunction. This followed by a short free remote consultation with our shockwave specialist will determine your suitability. There are a range of blood tests which may need to be carried out if you have not been referred by your medical practitioner but we can guide you through those and point you to a specialist GP if required.
In theory shockwave therapy can help all patients suffering from vasculogenic ED, CPPP and those with painful intercourse with Peyronies Disease. It can even improve erections in men with no specific problems who simply wish to improved their erections. Results indicate an excellent success rate. There are a few contraindications to treatment which we will check with you at your free consultation.