PENILE form and function can deteriorate over time and is more prominent in males who have undergone a prostatectomy following prostate cancer. However, a new penile traction therapy (PTT) device has shown promising results in significantly straightening and improving erectile function in patients following a prostatectomy. There are several available of treatments to assist with erectile dysfunction involving medications, injections, and even vacuum devices but these have shown limited success over time. Despite the use of nerve-sparing techniques proven to reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction in patients who have underwent a prostatectomy, there are reports of shrunken penis size and function.
RestoreX (PathRight Medical, Plymouth, Minnesota, USA) was initially developed to treat the curve in the penis caused by Peyronie’s disease, a condition that affects males over the age of 40. RestoreX functions by applying a gentle but potent pressure to straighten and mould the penis and has shown significant results in just under 30 minutes of use in patients diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease.
This new trial carried out by the PTT group, led by Landon Trost, Senior Author, Male Fertility and Peyronie’s Clinic, Orem, Utah, USA, utilised this device to improve penile function in 82 males with an average age of 59 years who had previously received a prostatectomy. Follow-up data from 6 months in 30 males in the PTT group and 25 in the control group showed promising results. The PTT group exhibited an average increase of up to 1.6 cm in penis length compared to the 0.3 cm in the control group. The erectile function and sexual satisfaction were also greater in the PTT group, with over 90% of participants recommending the use of the device compared to other erectile dysfunction medication and injections. Discomfort and other side effects were short-term and mild when using the device for an average of 90–150 minutes per week.
As this was the first randomised clinical trial of treatment to preserve erectile function after prostatectomy, there were few limitations partially due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The authors plan another follow-up 3-month assessment study with the intention to include this PTT approach to males who have not received any previous treatment following surgery.
“Our findings need to be validated in further studies,” said Trost. “If they are, PTT would be the first treatment with high-quality research data showing improvement in penile length and erectile function in males who have undergone prostatectomy, without medications or other on-demand therapies.”