Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition among men. There are multiple causes, ONE OF THEM IS arterial disease (atherosclerosis). In many cases erectile dysfunction is the first symptom of atherosclerosis.
The arteries are normally smooth and unobstructed on the inside. In some cases a sticky substance called plaque (atherosclerosis) builds up in the wall of the arteries. Risk factors are: age, family history, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and smoking. Atherosclerotic plaque can be found in any artery of the body and causes the arteries to narrow and stiffen.
Erectile dysfunction is treated by urologists. If there is suspicion of arterial disease the patient should be referred to a vascular surgeon. In that case the patient may need to have a Duplex ultrasound and a CT angiogram.
Treatment of erectile dysfunction CAUSED BY ARTERIAL DISEASE is performed with minimally invasive procedures.
Iliac Artery Occlusion
During minimally invasive procedures, the repair of the artery is performed from within the vessel (this is why they are also called endovascular). Under local anesthesia, the vascular surgeon punctures the artery and uses a special balloon to open the vessel. In many cases a small metal tube (stent) is used to keep the artery open. The following day, the patient is discharged from the hospital and recovery is immediate without any pain.