Vacuum systems

Vacuum pump systems are manufactured by numerous companies (UroHealth, Mission, Post-t-Vac) and consist of several components: a clear plastic cylinder, a hand pump, a lubricant, and tension rings. Battery operated systems are available for men who are unable to manually pump the device. To create an erection the man places the clear plastic tube over his lubricated penis. Pumping creates an erection by producing a negative pressure 'vacuum' to draw blood into the corpora. The tension band is positioned on the base of the penis to maintain the erection. Approximately 90 per cent of men are able to achieve erections sufficient for intercourse with the vacuum pump; drop-out rates are approximately 20 per cent. (4Z>

The common side-effects associated with vacuum tumescence therapy are haematoma, ecchymosis, petechiae, pain, numbness of the penis, pulling of scrotal tissue into the cylinder, and blocked and painful ejaculation. (4Z> Blood dyscrasias, penile bends, or anticoagulant therapy are relative contraindications.

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