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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Who needs Viagra? Scientists claim impotence can be cured permanently with sonic blasts

Who needs Viagra? Scientists claim impotence can be cured permanently with sonic blasts

By Jo Macfarlane MydeaMedia
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The sound-wave treatment is being hailed as an alternative to drugs such as Viagra and Cialis (posed by models)
The sound-wave treatment is being hailed as an alternative to drugs such as Viagra and Cialis (posed by models)
It seems an unlikely treatment, but impotent men are being offered what is claimed to be the first permanent cure for their condition – sonic blasts applied  to the affected area.
The sound-wave treatment is being hailed as an alternative to drugs such as Viagra and Cialis.
But while medication treats symptoms, the new sonic therapy is said to tackle the cause.
Erectile dysfunction, which affects up to a quarter of men over 40, is most commonly caused by the hardening of the arteries, restricting blood flow. 
But pioneers of the ED1000 treatment say the vibrations encourage new blood vessels to form.
Although the treatment sounds discomfiting – it involves directing pressurised sound waves directly on to the genitals – patients have been assured that it is pain-free.
Those undergoing the procedure – which involves 12 quarter-hour  sessions over a nine-week period –  are told to expect a tapping sensation as 100 blasts of sound waves are delivered each minute, followed by a tingling feeling afterwards.
 
Two years after the first trials, patients report that it has a long-lasting effect – although it is not understood why sound-waves have such an effect on the tissue that it begins  producing new blood vessels.
Similar sonic waves are already used to destroy kidney stones, improve blood flow in heart muscle, and to ease the inflammation of joints.
Pioneers of the ED1000 treatment (pictured) say the vibrations encourage new blood vessels to form
Pioneers of the ED1000 treatment (pictured) say the vibrations encourage new blood vessels to form. It involves directing pressurised sound waves directly on to the genitals - but it is pain-free
Doctors in Israel used the same principles to pioneer the technique, but using lower-powered waves.
The treatment is now being offered in the UK for the first time at the private Spire Murrayfield hospital in Edinburgh. It charges £1,500, plus consultation fees, for the sessions.
Consultant urological surgeon Roland Donat, who began treating patients last month, said the procedure was a ‘revolution’ in the management of impotence.
He said: ‘I read the pilot study and thought, if this works I really want it for my patients.
‘The ideal candidates are those who have a physical explanation for their impotence, such as hardened arteries or diabetes. It will not work if the problem is psychological or stress-related. But the results so far are really very encouraging.
‘Men can be very severely affected by impotence and it can lead to relationship or self-esteem problems.
‘The interesting thing is that the same device and technology is also being used to treat heart patients and those with leg ulcers.’
During initial trials in Israel, 20 men treated using sound-waves noted an improvement in their condition after around seven weeks.
Drugs such as Viagra can cost up to £8 a tablet, which adds up to a huge cost burden on the NHS.
The treatment will be offered at other clinics in Leeds and London’s Harley Street shortly.


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