Vacuum Constriction Devices (VCD)

1 What are Vacuum Constriction Devices (VCD)?

A vacuum constriction device (VCD) is an external pump that can use a man with erectile dysfunction to get and maintain an erection. It consists of an acrylic cylinder with a pump which is attached to the penis and band or constriction ring is placed on the other side of the cylinder.

The cylinder and pump create a vacuum that helps the penis to become erect and a band helps to maintain the erection. When the penis is erect, the band slides down to the end of the penis and the pump is removed with the help of lubricant after releasing the vacuum to avoid possible injuries. During intercourse, the band can be left in place to maintain the erection for up to 30 minutes.

VCD can be used by patients with:

  • Poor blood flows to the penis
  • Surgery for prostate or colon cancer
  • Poor blood flows to the penis
  • Psychological issues like anxiety or depression

It should not be used by men with a bleeding disorder or a disorder that predisposes them to a condition called priapism (a prolonged, sometime painful erection lasting over several hours).

About 50%-80% men are satisfied with the result of VCD but satisfaction rates can decrease with time.

The side effects of VCD are that an erection achieved with VCD is not the same as achieved naturally. Also, the penis can look purplish in color and cold or numb when an erection is achieved and after the small area of bruising can appear on the shaft of the penis. The force of the ejaculation can also be decreased because when the band is placed it traps the ejaculation.

VCD can be manual or battery-powered so the cost depends on the type and on the brand but usually, it cost from $300 to $500. If a medical cause of erectile dysfunction is established, some insurance can cover at least part of the cost of VCD.

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