Erectile dysfunction (impotence) affects many men, mainly as they age.
In some cases it has psychological roots but it can also be an early indication of other conditions, particularly those relating to blood flow (vascular disease) and the heart. We offer expert diagnostic advice, rapid access to a range of tests that can help identify the cause.
Erectile dysfunction (or impotence) affects many men – particularly those over 40. Research suggests that up to 45% of men aged between 40 and 70 have some difficulty getting or maintaining an erection (source: Journal of Urology 2012 May).
We understand that suffering with erectile dysfunction can be distressing. It can undermine your self-confidence and self-esteem and prevent you having a full relationship with your partner.
Although it is often caused by psychological factors, impotence can also be an early warning sign of more serious physical health conditions. We have the skills and expertise to be sensitive to patient privacy and treat you as an individual.
Our expert consultants and experienced multi-disciplinary care teams can help diagnose the causes of your impotence and work with you in agreeing appropriate treatment.
Some of the tests we offer will establish whether your impotence is related to risk factors associated with vascular (blood vessels such as veins and arteries) or cardiac disease. Knowing the underlying cause(s) of your condition gives you the chance to work with your doctors on putting it right. This might include certain treatments such as artery stenting or penile implants.
Recognising the complex factors at play, we’ll draw on the expertise of experienced and caring clinicians from a range of backgrounds and use a variety of tests to identify the causes of your impotence. Working in modern, well-equipped hospitals, they are dedicated to your wellbeing. Your treatment will be tailored around you, with your choice of location and timing.
We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
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Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that having any medical tests and procedures, particularly those of a highly personal medical condition, can cause anxiety. Our professional and caring medical staff will be there to reassure you throughout.
Depending on your clinical history, you may require a blood test or ECG (echocardiogram) both of which are relatively straightforward procedures.
If you have previously been unresponsive to standard therapies then you and your consultant may also consider requesting a doppler ultrasound and pelvic angiogram.
Your consultant will discuss the results with you and determine the best course of treatment for you - such as penile stenting or penile implants.
Both the penile stenting and the penile implants will require a hospital stay as a day case patient. You will be admitted to your private room with en-suite facilities where your privacy will be maximised throughout you stay.
The operation for penile stenting is normally performed under local anaesthetic which means you'll be awake but won't feel any pain. One of our nurses will be with you to provide reassurance and you may be offered sedation to help ensure that you are relaxed and comfortable.
The first part of the operation, when your consultant uses X-ray control to guide a catheter to the affected artery, is very much like an angiogram. The catheter, a small, thin tube will be inserted through a small cut made in your groin or your wrist.
The small balloon is attached to a thin wire which your surgeon will guide to the fatty deposits in the artery with the help of the catheter. They'll then inflate the tiny balloon to push the fatty deposits against the artery wall so blood can flow more freely. The catheter might also be used to insert a stent (a short wire tube) into the artery to help blood flow freely through the artery over a longer term. The balloon is then deflated and removed.
You and your doctor can also discuss appropriate treatment or next steps and we will provide with you any advice and information relevant to your particular circumstances.
We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
We're a 15 minute taxi ride from Cardiff Central railway station.
Main Switchboard: 029 2073 5515
Self-pay treatment enquiries: 029 2054 2509
COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire Cardiff Hospital.