Pumped

Posted on: 04 April 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Information and advice for men considering combating erectile dysfunction with a penile pump.

Information and advice for men considering combating erectile dysfunction with a penile pump.

Below Dr. David R. Marks and Doctor J. François Eid, with the assistance of two patients, John and Jim, attempt to explain what men can expect from a penile pump inplant.

DAVID R. MARKS, MD: For many men suffering from erectile dysfunction, the solution to their problem does not lie in medications or sex therapy, but rather in a surgically implanted device called an internal penile pump.

DAVID R. MARKS, MD: But once the decision to have the penile pump inplanted is made, what should people expect?

J. FRANÇOIS EID, MD: I think they should expect normal function, a feeling of normalcy and being able to make love whenever that individual wishes to do it.

DAVID R. MARKS, MD: There must be a lot of fears about the surgery - if it's going to work, how it's going to feel. How do you prepare them?

J. FRANÇOIS EID, MD: It's not easy and one has to spend time with the patient talking about the procedure itself, the device and what it can do for that particular patient. So I really start by showing a tape of a patient with a device and showing that patient actually activating and deactivating the device, and what the tape shows is that the person looks totally normal. That's number one.

Number two, when the person finds out that it's a fluid filled device, they have all sorts of questions. How do you put it in? Do you need to cut the whole penis? Does the pump stick out of the skin? Do I have normal sensation? Will I be able to reach orgasm? So all these concerns have to be explained to the patient, and very often we'll actually preempt the question and describe the device and what it does in a lot of detail.

I think it is very important for an individual who is thinking of this option to ask as many questions as possible, and we guys don't ask questions, and that's one of the things that limits, sometimes, our medical treatment options.

DAVID R. MARKS, MD: Well, let's ask a couple of the guys. John and Jim, it's interesting, because we last saw you 18 months ago, and you had just had the procedure, so now if you look back, and remember how you felt when you finally decided to have the procedure, John. Did you have any concerns? Did you have any worries? What were you thinking?

JOHN: Actually, I was worried, as you would be about any operation, but I was very happy to think that this operation was going to give me back something that I enjoyed, that I wanted and I missed.

DAVID R. MARKS, MD: But this isn't just any operation. We're guys. We're sensitive. I mean, this is, I would think, a little bit more worrisome than just a normal surgical procedure.

JOHN: Well, I think yes. But it is aiding what we have lost. It's correcting something that broke down.

DAVID R. MARKS, MD: What did you want to know? When you first talked to Dr. Eid, what questions came up in your mind?

JOHN: How does it work? I'm very mechanical. I was very interested in the process mechanically, engineeringly, how it worked. What I would certainly suggest to anybody considering this, and I think Jim would agree, is not just look at the film. Actually ask to look at the device. It is a very simplistic device, and when you see it and touch it, it takes away all the apprehension that you may have had. I say this to people on the phone. Ask the doctor to see it.

DAVID R. MARKS, MD: Let me hear from Jim. Now, what were your concerns right away?

JIM: After the Viagra didn't work, as I said, I was 53 years old, and there wasn't really that much of a choice - being, really, impotent - but getting the operation. I had full confidence in Dr. Eid after looking at the tapes, after the films, and he assured me 100 percent that it would work. I had the operation.

DAVID R. MARKS, MD: Did you have questions for him about it?

JIM: Yes, yes, I had questions. I was worried about the surgery. Would it be painful, how long it would take before I could have sex, but everything was explained first. Everything was explained in the tapes. I saw how it was done. He explained, he showed it to me. He showed me how it worked. He explained the situation, that I didn't even have to stay in the hospital.

DAVID R. MARKS, MD: Tell us briefly about the operation. You obviously convinced Jim. He never had a question.

J. FRANÇOIS EID, MD: Well, the operation, the way we do it, we do it through a small, one-inch opening in the scrotum, so we don't make any cuts, any opening whatsoever in the penis. We want to preserve the penile skin. That's the sensitive part of the penis, and we want to avoid that area. We put it through underneath from the scrotal sac area. That's where we make our little opening, and through that opening we first -- the operations is really three parts. The first part is putting the little sleeves inside the penis, and we do that through a tiny opening about a quarter of an inch in the penile shaft all the way down at the base of the penis underneath the sac where the testicles are.

The next part of the operation is placing the pump, and the pump is placed between the two testicles. There's a little area there where there is a little bit of fat, and we put that there in a way

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