Shockwave therapy is an alternative, non-invasive treatment for ED. It is a fairly recent technique that has emerged over the last decade. Practitioners may refer to shockwave therapy for ED as low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave treatment (LI-ESWT).
LI-ESWT for erectile dysfunction works by applying low-intensity shock waves to the penis. A practitioner uses a handheld probe to administer these. 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 last 15–20 minutes, and people may require repeat treatments.
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 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 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.