Erectile Dysfunction Treatment 

Serving Concord and the Charlotte Area, North Carolina

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to get or keep an erection long enough for sex. It is much more common than many people think. More than 30 million American men have ED, including up to 5% of men age 40.

Common causes of ED include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, peripheral vascular disease, stress, anxiety, age, low testosterone, side effects from medications, and side effects from surgical procedures (e.g. prostate cancer treatment).

The most common treatment for ED is the use of medications such as Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, or Stendra. These medications allow for increased blood flow to the penis. Ideally, these should be taken within an hour of planned intercourse (times may vary), and you should have a light meal and avoid alcohol. Common side effects include flushed feeling, stuffy nose, mild headache, and nausea. Less common side effects include muscle aches, visual changes, and hearing changes.

Other treatments for ED include the use of pellets inserted into the man’s penis (intra-urethral alprostadil or MUSE), medication directly injected into the penis itself (intra-cavernosal injections), and vacuum-assisted devices. While all of these treatments may be effective, common complaints from patients include lack of spontaneity and penile discomfort.

Only urologists like Dr. Natale who specialize in men’s health are well-qualified to determine which treatment option is best, including penile implants.

Take our quiz to find out if you need help with ED.

Urologist Dr. Richard Natale in Charlotte North Carolina
Urologist Dr. Richard Natale

Penile Implant Surgery Near Charlotte, North Carolina

Penile implant surgery is the only way ED can be cured. The first penile prosthesis was implanted in the early 1970s. Since that time, the technology has advanced significantly. Penile implant surgery is safe, minimally invasive, only requires an overnight stay in the hospital, and is covered by Medicare and most major health insurances.

A penile prosthesis (or penile implant) is a surgically implanted device intended to allow the patient to have a rigid enough penis to penetrate for intercourse. There are two common types of devices: the three-piece “inflatable” device (most common; pictured) and the semi-rigid device. Typically, patients who are candidates for this device have failed other non-invasive interventions for their erectile dysfunction, such as oral medication, injections, or vacuum-assisted devices.

The decision to have an implant should not be made lightly, because surgery is the most invasive option and is non-reversible. A thoughtful discussion should be had between you and your spouse about the decision you have made before moving forward. You should take every opportunity to ask me, your primary physician, patient-advocates (available through the device manufacturer), etc. any questions you may have before proceeding. Although penile implants carry with them the highest satisfaction rate among all methods of treating erectile dysfunction, this may not be the right choice for you. This is an elective procedure and you should realize that you are committing yourself to a device/procedure which will take some time to recover. 

Pre-operative instructions

  • Notify me if you have any change in your health status, even if it is a simple cold or flu.
  • Stop ALL aspirin-containing products and NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen, tramadol, etodolac) ONE WEEK before your surgery; check over-the-counter medications as they sometimes contain these medications.
  • Stop ALL blood thinners (e.g. Plavix, Coumadin, Predaxa, Aggrenox) ONE WEEK prior to surgery if cleared by the physician who prescribed you these medications.
  • Stop ALL herbal supplements and vitamins one week before surgery as these could cause an increased risk of bleeding (e.g. vitamin E).
  • When at your anesthesia pre-operative clinic appointment, make sure to ask about what to do with blood pressure (particularly lisinopril and digoxin) and diabetes medications (particularly metformin and insulin).
  • Take the antibiotics prescribed to you for THREE days before surgery (please report any allergic reactions immediately).
  • Wash your genital area with HIBICLENS soap (prescription provided) twice daily for SEVEN days before surgery (please report any allergic reactions immediately).
  • Please follow the diet instructions provided by the anesthesia pre-operative clinic

Inflatable Penile Prosthesis

Inflatable Penile Prosthesis

Don’t let your problem down there get you down anymore. Restore intimacy in your life and schedule an appointment today to discuss these treatment options with Dr. Natale.

Request an appointment online or call (704) 786-5131.

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