How do you drive these Vacuum Pumps ?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 3/17/2009 1:11 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Guys,  Is there a nack, to operating these vac pumps, just got mine today, and

It not working as well as I thought it would.  It seems to just stretch the old fella,

rather than help the erection side of things.  I am using a lubricant, but still getting

air leakage around the rubber diaphragm.  Does it take time to work, or do I have to

learn how to use it ?  Help please...........Rookey

Age 51yrs
DX 11/11/08
6 out of 8 cores positive 3 X 60% / 3 X 10%
Gleason 3+4=7
Stage T1c
Robotic Surgery 24/12/08
Upgrade Gleason 4+3=7
Stage T2c
Three small foci total volume 10%
Neg Margins and Nodes
Nil - Extraprostatic Extentions
Dry less than 1 week (unbelievable)
ED- taking Meds/ No result yet
PSA 28/1/09 0.03
PSA 24/2/09 0.03
"Everyday in Everyway I get better"

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 3/17/2009 5:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm with you on this silly pump business but maybe my expectations were just too high to begin with. It is totally unpleasant to use and doesn't seem to do much. I got the pump prescribed by the doc and, as stated in this forum, it was way overpriced but I got it anyhow, not having had any experience with these things. It has both a manual and an electric pump but the electric is totally worthless since the only time it will form any vacuum is against the palm of my hand. The manual pump does create a vacuum if I hold it really tight against the base but, as you said, it doesn't do what I expected. That said, maybe its not supposed to give me back what I had before but rather just to keep it a possibility for later on. So, I guess I'll keep using it as prescribed.

All-in-all a bit of a disappointment but, hey, I can't complain. Life is Good!

See ya,
DOB: Q4'46, HT: 5'9", WT: 180
Biopsy: 12/08
Cores: 4 of 12+ positive
PSA: <2.5
DRE: Slight enlargement, one node
Gleason: 3+3
Surgery: RRP on 1/21/09
Catheter: 15 days
Adenocarcinoma occupying 5% of prostatic volume (right posterior aspect)
Gleason: 3+2
No extraprostatic extensions
Perineural invasion within prostate only
No angiolymphatic invasion
No seminal vesicle invasion
Clear margins
AJCC: pT2a
Post-op PSA's
3/10/09 < 0.014 (undetectable by machine)

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4849
   Posted 3/17/2009 5:37 AM (GMT -6)   

The pump is suppost to keep the little fella healthy by making lots of blood circulate through it.

If you're not getting a good seal - its time to give the area a shave.


Age 54   - 5'11"   205lbs
Overall Heath Condition - Good
PSA - July 2007 & Jan 2008 -> 1.3
Biopsy - 03/04/08 -> Gleason 6 
06/25/08 - Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy
Catheter in for five weeks.
Dry after 3 months.
10/03/08 - 1st Quarter PSA -> less then .01
01/16/09 - 2nd Quarter PSA -> less then .01
Surgeon - Keith A. Waguespack, M.D.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 3/17/2009 8:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Here's what I've discovered about the pump.
1. No matter how much lube you put on the rim to start with, I always have to start, stop, and apply more around the rim once or twice. (Normally, it will seal on the second try). I assume that shaving would fix this, but I'd personally rather use this method than shave.
2. Before the pump does much, I have to try and mix in some sort of 'arousal'. This ain't easy to do, because pumping is about the most non-sexual thing you can do involving that area of your body. But, after some practice, it can be done. Personally, I get twice the results with arousal than I do without. For some, it may be beneficial to include your wife.
3. Take your time. You may need to pump some, release and start again. Pump a little, wait a few minutes, and pump a little more. It often takes about 15 minutes for me to receive the full benefit.

Hope this helps.
Age: 43
Diagnosed at 41 by routine blood test
PSA at diagnosis: 5.1
Pre-op Gleason: 3+4=7
Post-op Gleason: 6 (different labs?)
No luck finding local experience with DaVinci
Scheduled RP at Vanderbilt: 8/06
Insurance trouble, rescheduled at Centennial Hospital, Nashville
Prostate removed 9/06
Robotic, nerves spared, no positive margins
PSA since RP: good (less than .05)
Currently suffer ED

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 3/17/2009 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   


I used a pump for about three months, then went to the injections. What I discovered was:

1. Shaving helps alot. If you have a lot of hair, it breaks the vacum seal. I also tried shaving cream instead of KY Jelly, didn't help.

2. You need to pump for awhile, stop and let the blood rush in. Then pump some more. I was able to get to 21 CM in length but it took about 15 minutes. My girth almost completely filled the tube.

3. I also had to go to double rings to retain the hardness. That and the "hinge" effect was what made me go to injections. I will never go back to the pump.

With practice and experience, it will get better.



Age 60
PSA 2007 4.1
PSA 2008 10.0
Diagnosed April 2008
Biopsy: 6 of 12 cores positive
Gleason 4 + 5 = 9
CT and Bone Scan negative
Open surgery at Shawnee Mission Medical Center May 21, 2008
Right side nerves spared
Radical prostatectomy and lymph node dissection
Cather removed on June 3rd, totally dry on July 9th
lymph nodes negative
PSA Sept 28, 2008 0.00
PSA Jan 22, 2009 0.00

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 3/17/2009 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Shaving seems a little extreme to start. Like most have said, it's a learned technique and takes a little practice. I'd suggest clipping the pubic hair down to 1/2 to 1/4 inch or so, use lots of lube, take your time and keep at it until you figure how best it works for you. Done correctly, it will produce a very hard erection. The problem with most at first is the valves still don't work to hold the vacuumed blood inside the penis, so unless you use rings to hold it in, it will run right back out. But for therepy, pumping up , holding for aminute, and letting it out works well for recovery purposes. I still have best results when soaped up and used in the shower....
James C. Age 62
Co-Moderator- Prostate Cancer Forum
4/07 PSA 7.6, referred to Urologist, recheck 6.7
7/07 Biopsy: 3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe, GS 3/3=6
9/07 Nerve sparing open RRP- Path Report: GS 3+3=6 Stg. pT2c, 110gms, margins clear
16 mts: ED- 50 mg Viagra 3X week, pump daily,Trimix .35ml 2X week continues
PSA's: .04 each 3 months

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 3/25/2009 10:39 AM (GMT -6)   

Lots of good replys for you here.  Two things to remember: 1) all the male **** stars shave, so don't feel silly about that part smilewinkgrin   2) use a clean sharp razon...but not a straight razor smhair

Good luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 3/25/2009 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Shaving? Yikes! I've had good luck just clipping the shrubbery down - as James says.

All of the advice above is good. I also think there is a cumulative effect. The longer you do it (longer as in weeks or months) the more it helps. I use the "pump it up, let it down a little, and pump some more" routine. I am 10 months post-op and even just recently I have noticed more improvement. I also have Peyronies, so that is an added factor.

But I have to admit, it is a hard, cold, sterile process. For me, it has NOTHING to do with sex. It is just a re-hab treatment. I just cannot mentally put the two (the pump and sex) together.

Good luck.
Age: 53; 52 at DX
March 2006: PSA 2.5
Dec 2007: PSA taken for insurance application. I did not see the results until late
Jan '08 - after I was rejected. Their lab said PSA 4.5.
Feb 2008: PSA 3.7.
March 2008: Biopsy. Gleason 7 (4+3) 12 cores taken. 5 on the left side were
cancerous and the 6th was suspect.
May 5, 2008: Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy at GW Hospital, Washington DC.

Post op: Gleason 9 (4+5). 15% of prostate involved. Stage: pT3a. Negative margins. Lymph node and nerve samples taken, and appeared to be cancer free.

July 2008: PSA at 7 weeks was undetectable.
August 2008: PSA at 14 weeks (3 months) was undetectable.
Nov 2008: PSA at 6 months was undetectable.
Feb 2009: PSA at 9 months was undetectable.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 3/25/2009 1:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Forget the shaving. Water soluble liquid is the requirement. Go to the drug store and get a big bottle of Cocoa Butter for your lubricant and if the base ring for the pump is not good enough, get a large silicone donut from the adult bookstore. That makes a really good seal. Cocoa Butter is cheap and just use all you need for the job. Cleanup is a snap.
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