A vacuum device is often prescribed for the treatment of impotence. This device incorporates a plastic cylinder that fits over the penis. A vacuum pump connected to the cylinder pumps the air out of the cylinder causing negative pressure and penile engorgement and rigidity. A rubber band on the base of the cylinder is then rolled off onto the base of the penis to maintain erection.
Erections caused by a vacuum device often last longer than natural erections and usually do not go away after orgasm. The erection is lost when the rubber tension ring is removed from the penile base. Many patients can resume sexual activity using the vacuum device.
There are a few common problems with vacuum devices, however. The most common is discomfort caused by the constricting band. Many patients require a tight band to prevent loss of erection. This, in some patients, causes discomfort or inhibits ejaculation. Some men do not achieve adequate rigidity with the vacuum device also. Clearly, however, a vacuum device is a non-invasive treatment alternative that should be considered.