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Question
My husband is one year out from catastrophic cancer removal surgery, which left him with a lifelong colostomy.  The prior year he had undergone chemo and radiation treatment for the cancer, which was located on his behind near his rectum.

Until a month ago, sexual function was normal and very satisfying, despite the bag that he thought would be a problem. Two weeks ago he couldn't achieve an erection.  Two nights ago he still didn't achieve an erection, but through oral stimulation I was able to give him an ejaculation.

Before he starts screaming for Viagra, I'm looking into and trying some herbal treatments, such as gingseng, which he has taken for a month.  Are there any other suggestions you can make? I know he should see a urologist, but he's convinced nothing but the little blue pill can help.

Thank you so very much for your help.  I'm not convinced I could ask my regular doctor or even his nurse about this without stammering, regardless of my knowledge of medical terminology.

Sincerely,
Joy DeLong


Answer
Joy

There are no herbal remedies that have been shown to have any real value in treating ED.  Be grateful we now have Viagra and other truly effective treatments such as MUSE urethral suppositories, external vacuum devices and injection therapy to offer in addition to the pills.

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Stephen W. Leslie, MD

Expertise

Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.

Experience

Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

Organizations
American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Publications
Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Education/Credentials
Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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