What is the vacuum device

The vacuum device is a safe, reliable, reversible, noninvasive method of achieving an erection.

The function of the device is based on two principles:

1. A vacuum, or negative pressure, is generated to pull blood into the penis.

2. A constriction device (ring) is used at the base of the penis to decrease venous drainage and thus prolong the erection.

The vacuum device consists of a plastic cylinder, a pump that is either battery or hand operated, and one or more constrictive bands (Figure 35). The cylinder is wide enough and long enough to accommodate the erect penis. It is closed at the tip and open at the base. The constrictive bands are preloaded onto the base of the cylinder before its use.

How do I use the vacuum device?

To use the vacuum device, the constricting band is first placed onto the base of the cylinder, and the cylinder is then placed over the penis and pressed firmly against the pubic bone to achieve an airtight seal (Figure 35). Suction is applied by either a battery- or hand-operated pump. When the penis is rigid, the band is slipped off the cylinder and onto the base of the penis.

Figure 35 The vacuum device: (a) The vacuum deivce's pump creates a suction that pulls blood into the penis. (b) Within minutes, a nearly natural erection is produced. (c) A band is placed at the base of the penis to hold blood in the penis. (d) The constructing band is removed after intercourse. It should not be left on for more than 30 minutes.

Figure 35 The vacuum device: (a) The vacuum deivce's pump creates a suction that pulls blood into the penis. (b) Within minutes, a nearly natural erection is produced. (c) A band is placed at the base of the penis to hold blood in the penis. (d) The constructing band is removed after intercourse. It should not be left on for more than 30 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from Timm Medical Technologies, Inc.

When intercourse is finished, the band is removed, and the blood drains out of the penis.

The time taken to achieve an erection with the vacuum device varies but may be as short as 2-3 minutes. The band may be left on the penis for 30 minutes only. Most men are able to quickly learn how to use the device and become comfortable with using it within four practice sessions.

Bob's comment:

I have tried the vacuum device but never had much satisfaction with it. For me, the preparation and the mechanics of achieving and sustaining an erection with the device were too much. I was dubious right from the onset, when the vacuum device's manufacturer's representative met with me in the doctor's office to demonstrate the device. He unveiled a 10-inch cylindrical container that was placed over my flaccid penis after I had affixed some Mason jar-type rubber rings at the base of the device. After the vacuum device has created an erection, I would have to dislodge these rings from the base of the device so that they were around the base of my penis. The rings would then squeeze the base of my penis to maintain the erection.

My skepticism started the day that the representative showed me the device and assited me with a live demonstration, at which time I asked myself, "Who designed this thingV In fact, I really questioned why the representative would want this job—surely there were other career opportunities that he found more appealing. My skepticism persisted because despite the arduous presexual preparation, the vacuum device just never worked adequately for me. The rubber rings didn't seem to be sufficiently tight to maintain the erection. I will say, however, that of all of the other therapies that I tried before the placement of a penial prosthesis, the vacuum device did produce the firmest erection.

Perhaps it was my attitude; maybe it was my physiology. However, even though I used the vacuum device a score of times over a year or so, I knew that this was not for me over the long term. The romanticism and the spontaneity of sex were not there with the vacuum device.

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