The History of Vacuum Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction

12 June, 2013 (12:12) | News | Email Email | Print Print

Erectile dysfunction is nothing new, even though it may seem like it. We’ve just begun discussing it more openly, which makes it seem like it’s now a sudden wide-spread epidemic. The truth is that men have battled erectile dysfunction for centuries, and many different methods for combating it have been used over the years. Vacuum therapy is just one of these methods.

The First Popular Use

One of the first physicians to recommend vacuum therapy was John King, an American. In 1874, King suggested that a glass exhauster could be used to help create what he referred to as an artificial erection. However, this erection didn’t last very long once the vacuum device was removed.

The Addition of a Compression Ring

Later, in 1917, Otto Lederer patented a tool that used a vacuum device to assist a man with getting an erection. This device was similar to King’s, but Lederer added a compression ring. By placing this ring around the base of the penis, the blood pulled into the penis by the vacuum device remained there after the tube was removed. Once Lederer’s device was seen to work, several others patented modifications to it, but none became widely used.

Vacuum Therapy Becomes Popular

While Lederer’s device did allow a man to get an erection and maintain it long enough to have intercourse, it wasn’t that well-known or popular. In fact, the first widely marketed vacuum therapy device didn’t appear until the 1960s. Created by Geddins D. Osbon, Erecaid was the result of years of research and testing. Osbon began marketing the device in 1974. While many in the medical profession were skeptical, Erecaid was given the stamp of approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1982.

Winning Over the Disbelievers

Following Osbon’s device, a number of other vacuum therapy products appeared on the market. While there were only a few at first, more and more products became available as more research was done into vacuum therapy. Articles published by Perry Nadig and Roy Witherington presented the results of patients using vacuum therapy successfully. In 1990, T.F. Lue cemented the effectiveness of vacuum therapy in an article published in the Journal of Urology. He wrote that he would recommend vacuum devices to any of his healthy male patients. More recently, the American Urological Association has recognized vacuum therapy as a viable treatment for erectile dysfunction.

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