What are the side effects of the vacuum device

Side effects of the vacuum device include the following:

• Penile coolness. With the vacuum device, penile skin temperature may decrease by 18°C.

• Penile skin cyanosis. Congestion outside the corpora may make the penile skin look blue. This problem resolves with removal of the constricting band.

• Increased girth. The penile width after use of the vacuum device is actually wider than is seen with a normal erection.

• Pain. The most common complaint, pain usually occurs when men first use the device. It may be related to either the vacuum or the constricting band. Discomfort during suction is noted in 20-40% of men who use the vacuum device, primarily in men who are just learning to use the device. The pain appears to decrease with continued use of the vacuum device and may be related to initial unfamiliarity with the device. As many as 45% of men have pain at the site of the constricting band. Again, this discomfort seems to improve with time and familiarity with the device.

• Ejaculatory troubles. Pain with ejaculation is reported by 3-15% of men who use the vacuum device, and inability to ejaculate occurs in 12-30%.

• Penile bruising. This side effect is noted in 6-20% of men who use the vacuum device.

• Numbness during erection. This side effect occurs in 5% of men who use the vacuum device.

• Partner dissatisfaction. This rate ranges from 6-11%, with the following reasons for dissatisfaction being cited: unhappy with the performance, penile temperature, and penile appearance.

Severe complications (serious, undesired results of a treatment) are uncommon with use of the vacuum device, but they can occur. In particular, ischemia (decreased blood flow) of the penis leading to necrosis can occur if the constricting band is left on too long. This complication is more of a problem in men with spinal cord injuries because they do not feel the discomfort related to the band. If the band is removed within 30 minutes of application, the risk of penile ischemia is rare.

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