Maker of pacemakers for the heart and brain as well as stents for angioplasty, medical equipment manufacturer Medtronic recently announced it is testing arterial stents for treating impotence.
New Medtronics Stent May Help Restore Sexual Vigor to Men Who Have Circulatory ProblemsThese new stents for treating impotence would be used in much the same way as stents for opening coronary arteries. Placed in the pudendal artery to the penis, doctors hope that men who have problems with circulation to the penis once again will be able to have erections after the surgery.
Epidemiologists estimate that 18 to 30 million men in the United States and about 300 million men worldwide have varying degrees of erectile dysfunction. One of the clinical researchers in the Medtronics trial, Dr. Jason Rogers of the University of California Davis Medical Center told Reuter's Health that "ED (erectile dysfunction) is largely a vascular disease and that is why Medtronic Corporation is interested in this stent."
But poor circulation usually the cause of ED?About 15% of American men aged 40 to 70 report complete ED, that is, a complete absence of nocturnal erections and a complete inability to have sexual intercourse. Another 34% of American men aged 40 to 70 report mild to moderate ED, the inability to achieve firm erections or to engage in vigorous intercourse.
Many men who have complete ED also have heart attacks and strokes, so it is natural to assume that ED has a strong vascular component, and that increasing circulation to the penis with a stent in the artery serving the penis would lead to improved sexual capacity. It is not reasonable to suppose, however, that increased circulation is always the answer. Just a few of the causes of ED include:
Cholesterol levels.Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are associated with ED.
- Complex psychological issues.
- Mental health issues.
- Neurological trauma.
Read more: Impotence Closely Related to Heart Problems
- Organ failure.
- Prostate surgery.
Only about 50% of cases of ED are caused by failures of circulation to the penis. At most, only about 50% of men who have ED can be helped by stents. Insist on sonography measuring arterial flow to the penis before consenting to surgery to implant stents. Many men who have ED are not helped by surgery, and some will be harmed.