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  • Joshua Hoyt

New Brunswick erectile dysfunction patients soon to benefit from cutting-edge treatment

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

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ADAM BOWIE Fredericton Daily Gleaner November 3, 2016




Veteran nurse practitioners Dawn LeBlanc, left, and Lisa Chapman will soon open a new Fredericton health clinic that will specialize in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, a condition that affects roughly 50 per cent of men aged 40 or older.Photo: Submitted Two nurse practitioners plan to open a private clinic in Fredericton later this month that will make a promising new therapy available to men suffering from erectile dysfunction. The clinic will be the first nurse-practitioner led practice in New Brunswick and the first in the Maritimes to offer erectile dysfunction shockwave therapy – a quick, painless treatment option first established in Israel and now available in 50 countries across the globe. The plan is to open Triumph: A Men’s Health Treatment Option by the end of this month at an office located downtown at 212 Queen St., Suite 302. The facility will be open in the evenings and on weekends, will share space with other professional services, and feature a discreet entrance, which should make visiting the clinic a little less intimidating for self-conscious clients. Nurse practitioner Lisa Chapman will keep her position at a primary care clinic on Base Gagetown while launching the new venture. “We’ll examine the primary care factors related to erectile dysfunction and offer treatment options, including a brand new treatment called low-wave shockwave therapy,” she said, explaining that more than 80 per cent of the patients who’ve received this treatment are experiencing good results one year later, 60 per cent two years later. “I toured six clinics in Toronto. There’s one in Montreal. And this will be the first for the Maritimes. It’s also the first nurse practitioner-led clinic of any type in New Brunswick. So it’s pretty exciting.” Because it’s a sensitive topic for many men, erectile dysfunction isn’t often discussed openly. Yet it’s a serious issue affecting many New Brunswickers, she said. “Erectile dysfunction affects roughly 50 per cent of men over 40, either routinely or episodically,” she said. “So are the right questions not being asked, or are the patients not feeling comfortable enough to come forward with their issues? There’s probably a multitude of barriers there. This is making things easier for patients. They don’t need a referral.” However, Chapman said they will be co-ordinating with other health-care providers when necessary. “We are focused on erectile dysfunction, but so many things contribute to it that we’d be remiss if we didn’t spend some time looking at those other factors,” she said. “We’ll be looking at diabetes, cholesterol, obesity, depression, whether or not they smoke, psychosomatic factors. Those are all known contributors to the disease. We’re not going to be doing a lot of the management of those issues. We’re not going to adjust the pills that an original nurse practitioner or doctor may have given them. But certainly we’ll provide some tips, some management ideas, and go back to their original clinician saying, ‘We kind of noticed this in session. Is this something you’re planning to look at?’ ” She said if a man is experiencing problems achieving an erection, it’s possible there are blood-flow issues. “Because a good blood supply is required for an erection to happen, there has to be a clear pathway. And, just like in a heart attack, blood vessels are diseased, they’re narrowed, they’re less flexible,” she said. “What we have as an option is a treatment to break down those diseased blood vessels. We have a curative approach for this. Not just medication, which acts like a band-aid. We want to actually cure the underlying causes.” Dawn LeBlanc, the clinic’s co-owner and another nurse practitioner working at Base Gagetown, said early studies have shown this new therapy can help to get things moving in the right direction. “We see it in physiotherapy when somebody injures their knee or another joint,” she said. “When they want to increase the blood flow to the area to heal it, they use low-wave shockwave therapy for that to open up the blood vessels, to help it heal better. This is the same kind of philosophy. You increase the flow of blood to the area so the person can obtain the erection.” Some men struggle to find a solution that works for them, she said, which reduces the quality of their lives. “A lot of men simply suffer. Or they try a pill, it doesn’t really work, and they either continue taking the pill, experiencing limited results, if any, or they simply stop there,” she said. “Some men will go on to surgical implants or needles. That is scary for most guys, though. They don’t want to do that. And often they just say, ‘I’m done.’ This treatment is a good step between the pill and the more invasive surgeries.” When asked to describe the therapy, she said that it’s similar to an ultrasound procedure. “Basically, the low shockwave therapy involves a 10-minute procedure that is painless and non-invasive,” she said. LeBlanc said there’ll be an information session on Nov. 24, with a venue to be announced in the days ahead. “It’s exciting, and we believe in our product, but it’s a bit nerve-wracking too,” she said. “We’re not only paving the way for a new treatment option in the region, we’re also paving the way for other nurse practitioners. We’re nervous, but excited.” Eventually, patients will be able to visit the clinic’s website, located at triumphmenshealth.com, and self-schedule appointments in the evenings and on weekends. The first assessment, which will take roughly 30 minutes, costs about $25. If it’s determined the patient might benefit from the full therapy, they can book a series of 12 treatments – conducted twice per week, lasting about 20 minutes each – at a cost of $3,000 plus taxes. “That’s exactly the same as two pills per week for a year,” said Chapman. “We’re offering a treatment that is potentially permanently curative.” Chapman said she’s excited to take the plunge and to help promote the positive work that nurse practitioners do across the province, even in the limited roles currently available to them within the public system. “We can’t bill directly to Medicare because of the current legislation,” she said, explaining that they must often work under the supervision of a family doctor. “We don’t always want to be in a paternalistic relationship, with an employee-employer relationship with a physician. So this is a positive.”


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