Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive alternative treatment for erectile dysfunction. It is a fairly recent technique that has emerged over the last decade. Practitioners may refer to shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction as low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave treatment (LI-ESWT).
LI-ESWT for erectile dysfunction works by your practitioner applying low-intensity shock waves to the penis. The practitioner will use a handheld probe to administer these waves. A gel is used as an interface to conduct the shock pulses.
People do not usually need an anaesthetic, but they may experience a tingling sensation in the treatment area.
A practitioner will apply a set amount of shocks per minute, for a fixed amount of time. A session may generally last approximately 15–20 minutes, and people may require repeat treatments if needed.
The energy from shock wave therapy stimulates new blood vessel growth through a process called angiogenesis. This increases penile blood flow, which may improve erectile function.
Once the low intensity shockwave therapy treatment is complete, you will be able to return home. You should be able to safely drive yourself home. If you experience pain, your doctor will recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for your pain relief. Most people can return to normal activity the following day after shockwave therapy, but your urologist will discuss whether you should restrict your activity for longer to recover.