Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is a condition in which a man is unable to achieve or sustain an erection firm enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse or activity, and it is one of the most common medical complaints Urologists deal with. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder-5, this symptom must have been consistent for at least 6 months to be described as erectile dysfunction.
According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, erectile dysfunction has a prevalence of about 52%, with its prevalence varying with age. According to the study, about 40% of men are affected with erectile problems at age 40 and nearly 70% at age 70, suggesting an increase prevalence with age. It is estimated that one in 10 men will suffer long term erectile problems at some point in their lifetime.
Erectile dysfunction is an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation for men, more so because curative therapies are very rare. This challenge may stem from the multifactorial nature of the disease, being caused by a complex interplay of psychologic, neurologic, hormonal, vascular, and metabolic problems.
However, the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction (IFAR) offers a comprehensive treatment plan for erectile dysfunction, offering advanced therapy options to reverse erectile dysfunction
When conservative treatments, such as pills and injections, don’t work for you, IFAR offers an effective treatment plan with a range of solutions. Some advanced treatments offered in IRAR include penile pumps, penile prostheses, and nerve transfer surgery.
One of the leading experts in surgical reconstruction at IFAR, Dr. Eric Wimmers pioneers and performs ground-breaking reconstructive procedures in treatment for erectile dysfunction, with outstanding clinical results. Dr. Wimmers has broad experience in microsurgery and immunology, with extensive research in using stem cells in transplant surgeries and reconstruction.
Advanced Surgery for ED – Nerve Transfer
Nerve transfer is a minimally invasive procedure that solves the problem from its roots. Dr. Wimmers developed a unique technique of this advanced surgical treatment to repair and reconstruct the neural connections that initiate erection and sexual arousal.
In some of these cases, Dr. Wimmers performs a genitofemoral to cavernous nerve transfer, replacing the diseased or injured nerve with a functional nerve harvested from another part of the body.
The good news is that this minimally invasive procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, therefore, patients can return to work within one week. Full recovery from this surgery usually takes around six weeks. Following the procedure, nerve regeneration is expected to occur in less than a year before the desired erection is possible, but each case is unique. The standard of treatment for ED often focuses on short-term solutions; however, this surgical option offers a long-term solution to ED.
Erection-Preserving Prostate Reconstruction
One common fear that most men undergoing prostate surgery have is erectile dysfunction, a common complication of prostate surgery. In radical prostatectomy surgery, the prostate glands and seminal vesicles are removed; however, during the procedure, the nerves that are vital to erectile function are severed. Working with a team of skilled urologists and surgeons at IFAR, Dr. Wimmers has extensive experience in nerve-conserving radical prostatectomy, a revolutionary new procedure that allows men undergoing radical prostatectomy yet retain normal erectile function.
The prostate reconstruction procedure is performed immediately after a prostatectomy, adding 20 to 30 minutes to the duration and posing no additional risks. Our surgeons remove about four inches of nerve tissue from the patient’s calf. They then use this tissue to restore the nerves removed during the prostatectomy — dramatically increasing the chances that a patient will have normal erectile function after the surgery. It’s, however, important to add that the risks and side effects associated with prostate reconstruction by nerve grafting are minimal.
Dr. Wimmers received his received his medical degree from Howard University in Washington D.C., followed by General Surgery training at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. He then performed hand transplant research at the University of Pittsburgh as well as Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Wimmers has written numerous publications include one of the first papers to demonstrate the effect of CTLA-4 (a drug) to achieve complete graft acceptance in a transplant model. Dr. Wimmers is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery, the American Society for Peripheral Nerve, and the American College of Surgeons.
The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction is at the forefront of complex urologic procedures for ED, providing effective and long-term treatment for patients suffering from this challenging disorder. With the erection-preserving prostate surgical options at IFAR, men undergoing prostate surgery for prostate cancer or prostate enlargement can now heave a sigh of relief as ED is no longer a challenge to face after surgery.
Speak to one of the experts at IFAR if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment with any of our doctors. To learn more about Dr. Wimmer and his advanced procedures for treating erectile dysfunction, click here.