MIAMI - South Florida researchers may have a new and more natural option for those diagnosed with erectile dysfunction.
It's not an easy medical condition to talk about, but there are plenty of commercials advertising treatments for erectile dysfunction.
ED affects about 50 percent of all men over the age of 60.
"I tried everything. Take this drink, take this pill -- it didn't work," Thomas Baratta, 79, said.
That's why doctors with the University of Miami Health System are testing a new treatment for ED that involves a machine that delivers low intensity shockwaves to increase blood circulation where it's needed.
The same shockwave therapy is already used to treat tendinitis and muscle pain.
"So you don't need to take a pill to have sex or get an injection, but you can have sex naturally," urologist, Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy said.
Ramasamy said energy from acoustic waves triggers the formation of new blood vessels. The treatment is quick and not painful.
"The protocol right now is 10 minutes a day for either five days in a row -- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday -- with a follow up at one month, three and six months, or Monday, Wednesday, Friday for two weeks," Ramasamy said.
The University of Miami Health System is the only place in the country conducting this study, and they hope to test it on 80 patients.
"We've finished the study in about 44 patients and the results have been very successful so far," Ramasamy said.
Baratta is one of those patients who is happy with the results of shockwave therapy.
"I'm telling you, it's pretty amazing," he said. "My experience is one day no and two days later, wow."
Ramasamy said the results, so far, seem to last about six months.
For more information about the UHealth shockwave therapy study, call 305-243-6591 or email Dr. Ramasamy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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