April 3, 2014

Will a Stent Help My ED?

stent EDWill a Stent Help My ED?

A stent may help your ED, but if you need a stent you have waited to long to address your erectile problem. Erectile dysfunction or ED is not uncommon among men above 50 and even age 40. About 50% of men between ages 40 and 70 experience moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. And, 75% of men with ED have coronary artery disease.

Here is a major take home message if you are a man with ED. Erectile dysfunction predates symptoms coronary artery disease by at least three years. In other words, ED is a warning that a man is at risk for heart disease. So do not ignore the problem if you have it.

The biggest cause of erectile dysfunction is atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries which is not the thing you want hard or stiff if you are a man or in your man.

Stenting is frequently done these days to treat atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries and has been quite successful at improving blood flow to the heart and preventing future heart attacks.

Stenting is now being done to treat men suffering from ED which has not responded to medical treatment. Basically, a stent is placed in the internal pudendal artery which feeds the genitalia with blood.

The ZEN study looked at the safety and feasibility of using drug-coated arterial stents to treat ED. The study looked at 30 men with ED who did not respond to drugs like Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis.

The results revealed that 68% of the men obtained some benefit from the stents, and there were no major adverse effects in any of the 30 men.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

ED has other causes other than atherosclerosis and that may explain why all men in the study did not obtain some benefit. These other causes include chronic medical conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, alcoholism, and neurologic disorders. But, medications like statin drugs and antidepressants (two of the more commonly prescribed classes of medications) also can cause erectile dysfunction. Psychological problems and smoking are other causes.

Other Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

The most commonly prescribed drugs to treat erectile dysfunction are called phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (PDE5 inhibitors) and include Viagra®, Levitra®, and Cialis®. Yohimbine, an herb, was commonly used to treat ED before the development of PDE5 inhibitors. Penile injections and use of vacuum tumescence are sometimes used as well as penile implants.

In addition, lifestyle changes can prevent further progression of ED. This would include smoking cessation, losing weight, controlling blood sugar, and dietary changes to reduce the need for cholesterol medications, and so on.

If you have ED be sure to be evaluated as there is a good chance you will have or develop coronary artery disease.


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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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