Health Beat

Health Beat: Erectile dysfunction therapy

MIAMI - He never played for the NBA, but this Michael Jordan also loves basketball, although depression had him sitting on the sidelines.

"It affects everything, everything -- my sex life, my personal life, my work life," Jordan said.

He said antidepressants have helped, but the drugs took a toll on his sex life.

"It affects the libido as much as it affects performance," Jordan said.

Erectile dysfunction can affect men of all ages, according to experts.

"We know from the data that 40 percent of 40-year-olds have an issue, some form of erectile dysfunction," said Dr. Richard Gaines, GAINSWave medical advisory board.

Gaines wanted to give men experiencing ED a treatment option to the "little blue pill," so he started GAINSWave therapy, using shock waves.

"Shock waves are ubiquitous. they're faster than the speed of sound, and they have an effect on human tissue," Gaines explained.

Gaines said studies show using shock waves or sound waves causes blood vessels to dilate and increase blood flow.

"When these sound waves hit the surface of a blood vessel, the endothelial cells respond, making new blood vessels and repairing themselves in a process called angiogenesis," Gaines said.

The treatment takes about 15 minutes, and some patients have reported an immediate response. After numbing cream was applied, Jordan said it didn't hurt at all.

"There was zero pain," he said.

And he noticed a difference after just two treatments.

"It brings me back to like being 20 again or something," he continued.

That's given Jordan back his confidence on and off the court.

Gaines recommends two treatments a week for three weeks. GAINSWave therapy is not covered by insurance and can cost between $3,000 and $5,000 for the series of six treatments. Studies are showing the effects can last up to two years.

Gaines, who has a minority interest in GAINSWave, helped develop the protocol for patient treatment.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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