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Onde-durto

Treating impotence even without drugs. News that will make many men happy: truly promising results are coming from the first study of the Italian Society of Andrology (SIA) regarding the treatment of the much-feared erectile dysfunction, which for many males is still-though wrongly I– a taboo. Although we need to tread lightly for the time being, preliminary results speak for themselves: 70 percent of patients “recovered” from impotence through the use of low-intensity shock waves. Therefore, we are facing a new treatment option for those who complain of mild to moderate erectile dysfunction, estimated to be one-third of the more than three million patients in our country. The treatment causes no side effects, is noninvasive, and is quick and painless. The Italian multicenter study, coordinated by the SIA, was conducted on about 100 patients and is still ongoing, with positive results for that 70 percent of patients, who stopped using drugs (so-called love pills) to return to spontaneous sexuality, while in the most severe patients the response to oral therapy improved in 40% of cases.

The survey

The survey, launched a year ago, involved patients aged 18 to 65 years with organically based erectile dysfunction being treated at hospital or university centers in Florence, Naples, Trento, Bari, and Trieste. This is the first study coordinated by a Scientific Society conducted on shock wave therapy for erectile dysfunction, with the aim of independently evaluating possible outcomes and the most appropriate indications. Patients underwent an average of six shock wave sessions with 3,000 low-voltage shots; then the effect was evaluated with a penile echocolordoppler and sexual activity questionnaires. “The six-month follow-up data are very promising,” explains Alessandro Palmieri, SIA president and study coordinator. In men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction, therapy is successful and provides marked improvement in 70% of cases. Success in this case means possible cure: erectile dysfunction drugs have revolutionized sexual habits but remain “on-demand” cures, unable except in rare cases to restore erectile function. Shock waves, on the other hand, are able to reestablish the erection mechanism, allowing a return to natural sexuality without the need for relationship programming. However, this is still an emerging technique, and research is tasked with investigating the mechanisms of action of the method. This requires data from multicenter studies to define the long-term effects of treatment.”

A technology born in Israel

The method was developed in Israel a few years ago and is a physical therapy already used in other body districts, for example, for the treatment of kidney stones or as analgesic therapy. “Shock waves are high-energy acoustic waves,” explains Nicola Mondaini, SIA advisor. “They are applied to the penis through specific devices in sessions that last about 10 minutes, to be repeated for a total of six treatments in total. Physical therapy is thus brought exactly where it is needed and works by stimulating penile circulation, through the gradual growth of new blood vessels ( neo-angiogenesis), restoring spontaneous erection to the patient because circulation in the penis returns to normal and can provide an efficient erection.

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