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WHAT IS IT?
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a noninvasive treatment that involves delivery of shock waves to soft tissue to promote healing and neovascularization (growth of new blood vessels).
Low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (Li-ESWT) has emerged as a potential noninvasive method to treat vasculogenic erectile dysfunction.
This technology has been used for years to break up kidney stones. When urologists found that patients who had the kidney stone procedure presented with increased bone density and new tissue growth, the possibilities of shock wave therapy were revisited.
Low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (LI-ESWT) is a relatively new modality that has recently been developed for treating erectile dysfunction (ED). Unlike other current treatment options for ED, all of which are palliative in nature, LI-ESWT is unique in that it aims to restore the erectile mechanism in order to enable natural or spontaneous erections. Studies indicate that LI-ESWT induces cellular microtrauma, which in turn stimulates the release of angiogenic factors and the subsequent neovascularization of the treated tissue.
Studies confirm that LI-ESWT generates a significant clinical improvement of erectile function and a significant improvement in penile hemodynamics without any adverse effects.
Although further extensive research is needed, LI-ESWT may create a new standard of care for men with vasculogenic ED.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When LI-ESWT is applied to an organ, the relatively weak yet focused SWs interact with the targeted deep tissues where they cause mechanical stress and microtrauma. This stress and microtrauma (also known as shear stress) induces a cascade of biological reactions that result in the release of angiogenic factors which in turn triggers neovascularization of the tissue with subsequent improvement of the blood supply.
Research on the biological effects of LI-ESWT has mainly been focused on vasculogenesis and local neovascularization. Researchers have discovered that LI-ESWT stimulates the expression of angiogenesis-related growth factors, such as endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and endothelial cell proliferation factors, such as proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). They also reported that LI-ESWT induces neovascularization, and consequently improves blood supply.
WHAT ABOUT ED / PENILE ENHANCEMENT?
Low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy is clinically proven to increase blood flow to the penis. This results in enhanced erections, sensitivity, and better sexual performance.
Not only does this therapy stimulate the growth of new blood vessels, it also breaks up blood-blocking plaque from existing vessels.
While this treatment can help eliminate erectile dysfunction, it is also beneficial for men without a medical condition that simply want maximum sexual enhancement.