A revolutionary electric shock treatment developed by Israeli scientists to cure impotent men is available for the first time in the UK.
Edinburgh's private Spire Murrayfield Hospital is taking the medical breakthrough very seriously. It is the first UK hospital to offer the experimental treatment, which uses 300 low-intensity shockwaves to stimulate penile blood flow.
The non-invasive procedure, which requires 12 visits to the hospital's erectile dysfunction out-patient clinic over a nine-week period, is being hailed as an alternative to injections or drugs such as Viagra, especially where men fail to respond to substance-based approaches. Spire's website advertises the treatment to private patients at an introductory cost of £1,500.
Researchers who developed the technique at Haifa's Rambam Medical Centre, said that the treatment was pain-free. They reported that medical clinics in a number of countries were now offering the procedure, after positive scientific results had been published in three major medical journal articles.
Professor Yoram Vardi, head of the neuro-urology department at the Rambam Centre, said his team had treated "more than 300 patients with various degrees of severity of erectile dysfunction. Since then we have accumulated data on the effectiveness and safety of low intensity shockwave therapy.
"During the past three years we have encountered a slow but steady shift from scepticism to gaining more and more encouragement and support from the medical community."
Spire's consultant urologist Roland Donat said: "This treatment is a revolution in the management of erectile dysfunction. For the first time, we are able to cure some patients with [the condition] rather than treat them symptomatically."