Vascular Reconstructive Surgery for Impotence

Vascular reconstructive surgery for erectile dysfunction is often considered an option of last resort. However, it is certainly one worth trying if all other methods and therapies have failed.

Whether impotence is a result of physical injury or a physiological issues, VRS can provide a solution.

What does it entail?

Vascular reconstructive surgery is a procedure carried out by highly skilled surgeons on the penis and the surrounding regions. The idea behind the surgery is to facilitate the flow of blood to the region. The penis becomes erect only when sufficient blood flows through the soft tissues in the penile region.

The blocked artery is usually bypassed with the help of a healthy artery taken from the abdominal region. The surgery involves dilating the arteries in the penis to allow the flow of more blood. The veins in this region are also operated upon to slow down the reverse flow of blood out of the penis. This helps to maintain an erection for a longer duration.

The advantages of vascular reconstructive surgery

It offers an effective option for those who have tried other ED therapies such as drugs and could not get the desired results. You can actually use Viagra and other medications after vascular reconstructive surgery, as it does not impede the effectiveness of these drugs in any way. There are practically no visible scars left behind after the surgery. The erection produced will look and feel natural, so that's not a concern.

Whether vascular reconstructive surgery is covered by your insurance would depend on your insurance policy. Medicare covers most of the costs of penile surgery for erectile dysfunction.

The disadvantages of vascular reconstructive surgery

VRS is not meant for all men. Some men have medical conditions that prevent them from being good candidates for this surgery. The success rate is less than 50%, but slightly higher for younger men. Older men may not benefit much by this procedure. The rate of relapse is also very high. This reconstructive surgery usually lasts two years and therefore you may need to repeat the surgery many times.

Also, VRS is very costly. It is not offered everywhere so you would need to seek out a surgeon to perform the operation.

Potential side effects

Sometimes scarring of the tissue in the penis can occur as a result of the surgery. This could even lead to a deformation. Sometimes the penis may appear to have shortened. There may a possibility of infections due to tissue damage. More harm than good may be done if the procedure does not work out well.

Vascular reconstructive surgery, ED drugs and penile implants

Not surprisingly, it was found that most men preferred ED drugs such as Viagra to reconstructive surgery. The reasons were obvious. It is far easier and less arduous to take a pill than go to under the knife. Penile implants also offer a better option than vascular reconstructive surgery. However, penile implants have an unnatural feel and some men simply do not like foreign objects inside their penis. In most cases, the implant merely provides some measure of support and rigidity.

Sometimes with penile implants, things can get complicated and follow-up surgeries may be required. This means more costs and incalculable pain. However, the success rate in penile implants is much higher than for vascular reconstructive surgery. In penile implants, there is an added risk of internal failure of the mechanical parts. Sometimes a penile implant can be difficult to conceal, as one would have a permanent erection.

A final word

These days there are more options for erectile dysfunction than were available a few decades ago. Although there is no guarantee of success with vascular reconstructive surgery, it can work well and provide hope to many men.


Learn about new options besides vascular reconstructive surgery on our new ED treatment page or return to our Impotence home page.

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