Using the pump - is this normal?

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CaPCa
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 11/15/2007 10:19 PM (GMT -7)   
As part of my doctor's ED rehab, I have started to use the vacuum pump. Fortunately, I have been having normal erections the old-fashioned way as well. However, I want to be the good patient and do everything prescribed.
 
So far, the pump has not achieved anything like the erections I have had, even after surgery. Basically, I am not getting the length achieved with normal erections. I have only been using it for a few days now, and I think there is some improvement. I am able to get a good vacuum, but I am concerned about using too much vacuum. I am following the instructions correctly as I interpret them. Is this normal?
Age:44
Father diagnosed and cured at age 52.
08/21/07: Diagnosed with T1c cancer
1 of 12 biopsy cores positive; 10% tissue
Gleason score: 3+3=6
PSA level prior to biopsy: 4.3 (velocity < 0.4ng/ml)
10/19/07: da Vinci prostatectomy by Dr. Vipul Patel at OSUMC.
              Difficult surgery due to prostate inflammation.
              Both nerve bundles spared.
              Spongy erections began within 24hrs of surgery!
10/24/07: Catheter out; down to 1 Serenity pad/day next day.
              Final pathology: neg margins, no capsular penetration,
              Gleason 3+3=6, 5% tumor involvement, multi-focal.
11/04/07  First usable erection with Cialis
 


StrictlyInc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 353
   Posted 11/16/2007 2:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Might depend on what pump you are using. From what I've read, though, length should be the same, and the pump might make your penis slightly thicker when pumped up. I wouldn't push it, though, just for the sake of getting to "normal" length - you don't want to damage the penis.
____________________

Prostate cancer diagnosed: May 15, 2006 (age 40)
Gleason score: pre-surgery 3+3=6; post-surgery 3+4=7
daVinci radical prostatectomy: July 25, 2006
size of tumor: approx 1.1 inches; negative margins from surgery

- number of pads/day at 3 months after surgery: 3 to 5
- number of pads/day at 4 months after surgery: 1 to 2
- number of pads/day at 6-12 months after surgery: 0 to 1

- 1st post-surgery PSA: 0 (Nov 2006); 2nd post-surgery PSA: 0 (Feb 2007)
- 3rd post-surgery PSA: 0 (May 2007); 4th post-surgery PSA: 0 (June 2007)

The search for timber: took Viagra/Cialis approx. every other day, ErecAid once a day, injections. Peyronie's diagnosed 7/5/07. Now on Cialis, L-arginine and pentoxyfylline, ordered to be celibate for 6 weeks.

- PGE1 batting average: .364 (4 for 11)
- Bimix batting average: .545 (5 for 9)
- Trimix batting average: .500 (1 for 2)

"Lost in the valley without my horses, no one can tell me what my remorse is..."


Cedar Chopper
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 432
   Posted 11/16/2007 4:04 AM (GMT -7)   
CaPCA,

My experience with and reading about the pump is that using it is most important to keep the tissues viable while your body heals from the traumas of the surgery.
As the nerves regenerate, they will appreciate it if the penis muscle hasn't atrophied and actually creating an erection is not another issue.

Length will increase gradually as you use the pump - especially if you use it several times a week.
I also recommend using Viagra/Sedenafil Citrate (or another PED5) daily as it tends to increase general circulation in the area.  (For 65 cent doses of Seldenafil, see alldaychemistdotcom.)

As for "too much vacuum," I would not cause myself more than discomfort - that is not too much pain.  The tissues need the blood but you can "blister" the tissues if you rush things.  My physician said it is best to just have frequency of "off and on" use of the pump each time you use it - letting the erection go up and down ten or 20 times for 10 seconds or so each session.

I personally find the pump boring but make myself do the exercise once a week and I do see some improvement every week. 
I do have "soft-on" erections (without the pump) with frequent orgasms that are improving in erectile quality (both length and rigidity) each week.  These orgasms are much more pleasant without the pump but they do require a lot more work than before surgery.

What I have read suggests that if the radical prostatectomy patient regains erectile function and continence, even thought the erections themselves are not usually quite as firm as before,
    - sex lasts longer, is more pleasurable for both partners, 
       birth control is not an issue, and there is a lot less mess.  eyes

You are so soon after surgery I would say take it easy.

Still, anything you do to stimulate this area without hurting yourself is probably a good idea.
If you want to become sexually active sooner rather than later, perhaps, in a while, you might perhaps look into injections as those who use them generally get their normal function back sooner than those who do not.  (For excellent information on injections, look for Tamu's threads.)

Good luck!

CCedar
ICTHUS!


 


2 Years of PSA between 4 and 5.5  + Biopsy 23DEC06 
Only 5 percent cancer in one of 8 samples.  +  Gleeson 3+3=6
Radical Prostatectomy 16FEB07 at age 54.
1+" tumor - touching inside edge of gland.  + Confined:)
Pad Free @ 14 weeks.  Six Month PSA <.003  :)
At 6 months, ED treated with Pump Exercises & 50mg Viagra Daily
Texas Hill Country FRESH Produce Department Manager
Have you had your 5 colors today?

Post Edited (Cedar Chopper) : 11/16/2007 4:42:53 AM (GMT-7)


James C.
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4461
   Posted 11/16/2007 6:49 AM (GMT -7)   

I began using the Vacurect the day before yesterday.  It is a good system, but I am struggling with it, it seems.  I follow the directions to slowly pump, letting the blood to flow in slowly, to get a firm erection.  It does give a good firm erection, but my valves haven't recovered enough to keep the blood in to maintain the erection.  Pump up, leak down.  I seem to be getting maybe an extra 1/2 inch length and definitely more girth than before.  The residual effects of it last for several hours before becoming totally flaccid.  I tried the various sized bands, as directed.  Each one is a little smaller in diameter.  I found I had to go down 2 sizes to find one to hold the blood in.  2 sizes down is uncomfortably tight and begins to ache after a few minutes.  If my valves worked half way normal, I wouldn't have to use such small rings to keep it filled.  The normal action of the pump pulls the penis into it and the 'skin' of the penis seems to stay behind, resulting in the head and top portion being stretched tight, and again, feeling uncomfortable.  Being partially circumcised and having extra skin, I have tried to pull some skin into the front of the ring, but most times I only make it lose vacuum.  I think with some practice I can make it work.  We haven't tried to use it yet, as I am still testing and don't want to tear myself by having the skin stretched too tightly at the head. 

All in all, this whole process is harder and more uncomfortable than I expected it to be, but I really did enjoy experiencing a full erection again.  It's a good feeling to see and feel 'full' again, for hours afterwards.  It's something you don't realize how it affects your feeling of well-being.  To have a normal heft and feel the little tug of gravity a normal penis gives is worth the discomfort. 


James C. 
 
Help support the forums so they can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate 
 
Age 60 
4/19/07   PSA 7.6, referred to Urologist, recheck 6.7 06/05/07
7/11/07   Biopsy- 16 core samples, size of gland around 76 cc. Staging pT2c
7/17/07   Path report:  3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe , GS 3/3:6. 
9/24/07   Retropubic Radical Prostatectomy performed 
9/26/07   Post-op Path Report: GS 3+3=6 Staging pT2c, 110gms, margins clear
10/15/07  ED- 25mg Viagra nightly-no joy 
10/19/07  Dry 24 hrs, pad at night just in case
11/15/07  1st PSA 0.01


pasayten
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 11/16/2007 7:57 PM (GMT -7)   

James,

Like you, I just got and started the Vacuret pump...  Basically for my spouse :-)  and easier tissue exercise...   Before pump,  I was at about 60% erection with 50 or 100mg generic viagra (depending if I had happened to cut a pill in half before).  Good enough for penetration and climax (for me) in certain positions.   Adding the vacuret and generic viagra regime, I am over 100% of before PCa (downright "scary" at times)...   Good grief...  Wonder what would of happened if I started excercises like this as a young man...   Anyway, both of us are enjoying climaxes as before PCa and wife is very happy...  

Regarding rings,  I found positions made a big difference on required ring size to keep full erection.   From largest diameter used to initially get good erection...  Dropped two sizes to maintain erection while I was on back, wife on top...  best for her.   One size drop for traditional position man on top.   With me on knees, original larger diameter ring worked fine...  Maybe it's the angle of the penis on the "valve" that is effecting the required ring size.  With the two size down ring, it was a bit uncomfortable for me also, no aching, but distracting enough to prevent a climax.

I find that waiting a good amount of time between a couple of pumps greatly minimizes discomfort while allowing a lot of blood to accumulate in penis.  You can actually "measure" penis growth and length inside the clear pump housing.  Also make sure that most of the pubic hair is kept below ring...  We also are changing ring size based on postion during each "session".  This also adds the erection/release/erection/release to the "exercise".  We have not encountered any brusing or blistering at all to date. 

Anyway,  wish I would have gotten pump very much sooner in our recovery...  Wife and I are really having fun now...  :-)

And like you, penis seems full thru the rest of the day...  Back to the old routine of having to tuck it back in briefs once in awhile during the day...

BTW,  I got pump and a couple of DVD videos in a "package" from Sinclair Institute for $172...  Cheaper than pump alone...  Go figure...

All in all, it was a great addition for us...

Ray (aka pasayten)

 


Age 59 y/o - Last 3-4 years of annual general health checkups - PSA 5-6
3/13/2007 - 12 point biopsy - Left 0/6  Right 1/6 Gleason 3+3 Diagnosed as T1c
4/24/2007 - DaVinci performed at Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle
5/2/2007 - Catheter Out! Final pathology of Gleason 6  T2c Nx Mx,   approx 20% of prostate involved, positive margin, but only at 2 focal points.  
6/28/2007 9 weeks post-op incontinance... Overnite, went from 4-6 soaked pads a day from prev 8 weeks to 2 barely wet pads a day.
7/12/2007 11 weeks post-op  Minimal leakage...  one small pad a day
7/18/2007 First Post-Op PSA...  0.01 !!! 
7/30/2007 ED improved to about 60% erection and "functional". Only using 50mg Viagra generic every 2-3 days.
9/10/2007 Ran out of pads one day and had no dribbles all day...  Now pad free. :-)


CaPCa
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 11/16/2007 10:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks to all who have responded. It's advice like this that you just can't get from an instruction manual or a doctor.
 
I have not tried the rings yet for holding the erection. They are a little initimidating but mostly due to the fact that my normal erections are so much better than the vacuum assisted ones, and I am refering to the ones after surgery. My doctor recommends the pump use DAILY, in sets of four pump erections during a session. After each set, I do find I get more and more length, but again, not to where I am with normal erections. I do find the increase in blood flow to the area feels good, and I guess anything that improves blood flow is beneficial. I was just surprised that the pump would be worse than normal sexual arousal, which can be 90-95% of what I was before surgery.

Age:44
Father diagnosed and cured at age 52.
08/21/07: Diagnosed with T1c cancer
1 of 12 biopsy cores positive; 10% tissue
Gleason score: 3+3=6
PSA level prior to biopsy: 4.3 (velocity < 0.4ng/ml)
10/19/07: da Vinci prostatectomy by Dr. Vipul Patel at OSUMC.
              Difficult surgery due to prostate inflammation.
              Both nerve bundles spared.
              Spongy erections began within 24hrs of surgery!
10/24/07: Catheter out; down to 1 Serenity pad/day next day.
              Final pathology: neg margins, no capsular penetration,
              Gleason 3+3=6, 5% tumor involvement, multi-focal.
11/04/07  First usable erection with Cialis
 


James C.
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4461
   Posted 11/17/2007 7:53 AM (GMT -7)   
CaPCA says:"
I have not tried the rings yet for holding the erection. They are a little initimidating but mostly due to the fact that my normal erections are so much better than the vacuum assisted ones, and I am refering to the ones after surgery. My doctor recommends the pump use DAILY, in sets of four pump erections during a session. After each set, I do find I get more and more length, but again, not to where I am with normal erections. I do find the increase in blood flow to the area feels good, and I guess anything that improves blood flow is beneficial. I was just surprised that the pump would be worse than normal sexual arousal, which can be 90-95% of what I was before surgery."
 
I was told to use the pump morning and night, with 'sets' of 2 or more each session, keeping it erect for 10 minutes or so each time.  I am managing 3 to 4 cycles of 5 minutes or so each, which is making a world of difference in what I have residual for hours afterwards.  The ease of use, along with finding I don't have to use such a small size ring has really increased the pleasure from stimulation and reduced the discomfort of stretching too far.  I found that I could work quite a bit of skin that had been on the body side of the ring through the ring, with liberal use of lube, allowing for a much less stretched and much better feeling erection.  As a matter of fact, it worked so comfortably that I was able to ********* to climax (blush).  As someone mentioned earlier, there's a build-in aversion to self-pleasure carried from my repressed childhood....lol  Or at least talking about it or admitting it.   tongue The feeling was very different but intense.  The normal (for me) pulsing spasms of intense pleasure running out of my body down the length of my penis is gone, replaced with a more centralized pulsing pleasure spreading out internally from the location of the former prostate.  Altogether a much more different but very intense and pleasureable feeling.  I can definitely live with it...lol.   
 
Anyway, the reason I quoted you is you said you got 50 to 60% erection with Viagra.  In my case, I am getting 0% with 100 mg. Viagra. 

James C.
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4461
   Posted 11/17/2007 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   

Gotta clear up my confused post.  CaPca, I confused you with another when speaking of the 50-60% erection.  If I read it correct, you have almost full erections with only Cialis or such and your Doctor wants you to exercise using the pump?  In that case, with such strong 'normal' erections, I don't think I would be using the rings.  I'd just pump up and release, without using anything to hold the blood in artificially.  Personally, I wouldn't do anything to risk the recovery you got now....lol.

pasayten:  Thanks for your sharing experience with the Vacurect.  Some info I can use.  I was hoping when my Doc. went to get the demo. device and prescription for my pump (I got this one elsewhere) it would be a different kind/brand. I was willing to pay the deductible to get the other, but he came back in with a Vacurect.  lol  I was figuring he would be recommending the Osbon or Soma line.  So I am having to learn to use it... eyes

Interesting to see that the post engine censored the word *********, but allows the many other common 4 letter words for the same and other sexual terms.   I suppose you can't program for every situation. 

James C.

CaPCa
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 11/17/2007 12:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Since I went out-of-state for surgery, the ED rehab nurse prescribed this regimen with the pump prior to knowing about the good natural erections. I agree that the rings are probably not for me and that that the pump only really needs to be used for theruputic sessions rather than achieving a "usable" erection. I am probably extra cautious with the amount of vacuum I use for fear of "breaking" the good results I am having otherwise.
 
It's interesting to see the variance in recommendations for pump use. I need to review my instructions but I believe they call for a pump-assisted erection of only 20 seconds per set.
Age:44
Father diagnosed and cured at age 52.
08/21/07: Diagnosed with T1c cancer
1 of 12 biopsy cores positive; 10% tissue
Gleason score: 3+3=6
PSA level prior to biopsy: 4.3 (velocity < 0.4ng/ml)
10/19/07: da Vinci prostatectomy by Dr. Vipul Patel at OSUMC.
              Difficult surgery due to prostate inflammation.
              Both nerve bundles spared.
              Spongy erections began within 24hrs of surgery!
10/24/07: Catheter out; down to 1 Serenity pad/day next day.
              Final pathology: neg margins, no capsular penetration,
              Gleason 3+3=6, 5% tumor involvement, multi-focal.
11/04/07  First usable erection with Cialis
 


M. Kat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 11/18/2007 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
CaPCA, I would think you don't need to use the pump for rehab since you are already having erections. obviously you already have good blood flow. I would question the rehab nurse about using it. Jeff never found any of the rings to be comfortable but were a necessary evil in getting erections. take care guys, kat
Husband Jeff 56 years old diagnosed July 27, 2006
PSA 6.5, 2 positive areas in biopsy, Gleason 3+3=6
Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy August 30, 2006
pathology report - all clear - cancer gone
1st post-surgery PSA test <0.1, 2nd post-surgery PSA test <0.1, 3rd PSA <0.1
no more pads Oct 12, 2006
first "real" erection with use of pump 12/16/06
3/07 - occasional dribbles and erections with Cialis and pump
8/07 - 1 yr PSA <0.1
9/1/07 - achieved erection with Viagra - no pump!


CaPCa
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 11/20/2007 4:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with your statement, although I was instructed to use the meds and the pump until I return to normal. I take that to mean good erections without medication. Since I just started taking Cialis, I have not taken a break from it to see if there is any difference.
 
Since I started this thread, I have had much more luck with the pump, almost as if my body has adjusted to it. Now, it actually feels good in a non-sexually-stimulating way. I guess "theraputic" sums it up.
Age:44
Father diagnosed and cured at age 52.
08/21/07: Diagnosed with T1c cancer
1 of 12 biopsy cores positive; 10% tissue
Gleason score: 3+3=6
PSA level prior to biopsy: 4.3 (velocity < 0.4ng/ml)
10/19/07: da Vinci prostatectomy by Dr. Vipul Patel at OSUMC.
              Difficult surgery due to prostate inflammation.
              Both nerve bundles spared.
              Spongy erections began within 24hrs of surgery!
10/24/07: Catheter out; down to 1 Serenity pad/day next day.
              Final pathology: neg margins, no capsular penetration,
              Gleason 3+3=6, 5% tumor involvement, multi-focal.
11/04/07  First usable erection with Cialis
 

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