Anyone curious about solutions to erectile dysfunction (ED) should learn about this innovative treatment. It’s not new – it’s been used in Europe for over a decade – but because of America’s pharmaceutical dependency and the big business of erectile enhancement pills, let’s just say this treatment has had a soft start. It’s called penile lithotripsy and hands down is the easiest way for a long-lasting solution without surgery, pills or even pain. 

Urologist Dr. Bruce Fariss has had his eye on this procedure for years and is excited to announce he has brought the treatment to Key West. (Miami is the nearest place otherwise.) Penile lithotripsy is done by a machine that creates low intensity shock waves that break up the blockage of blood flow to the penis. Moving a small wand over the penis opens up the arteries and naturally improves blood flow, the cause of dysfunction. In some cases, neovascularization can occur – new healthy blood vessels form. 

“Low intensity shock wave treatment is effective even in patients with severe erectile dysfunction,” The Journal of Urology May 2016.

The procedure is not FDA-approved, but the device is legal in the United States because it has been approved for use against plantar fasciitis. 

“Lithotripsy is a win-win. The treatment is virtually painless and has no side effects. Depending on the level of the patient’s problem, I have had a patient improve after one treatment and many improve after a few,” said Dr. Fariss. The treatment is a minimum of six 10-minute sessions. Patients who respond to drugs like Viagra and Cialis will most likely respond well to the treatment.  It’s been touted to also increase sensation, sexual performance and can last one to two years or longer.

“A significant number of patients with ED have cardio problems,” said Dr. Fariss. “Both problems are about constricted blood arteries.” If patients have more complicated problems and are on medication, then taking male enhancement pills increases the risk for heart attack or stroke. A history of congestive heart failure, unstable angina, low blood pressure, or uncontrolled high blood pressure also puts them at risk. Lithrotripsy has zero side effects and will not increase further health problems.

A six session package will cost $3,000. Most sexual enhancement procedures and pills are not covered by insurance but the overall cost pays for itself in comparison to pills. Viagra is now upwards of $70 a pill, and the generic sildenafil $30; these are only taken when sexual intercourse is expected. According to GoodRx, Cialis, a daily pill, “can cost between $350 and $1,700 for 30 tablets depending on their strength; generic tadalafil costs between $100 and $600 for 30 tablets.”

“I am surprised men have been hesitant,” said Dr. Fariss. “Then again, we have become drug dependent when we don’t have to be.” Painless, non-surgical, non-invasive, and a happier sex life: it sounds like a win-win for both men and women. 

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