Designed to allow Erectile Dysfunction (ED) patients gain erection, Penile Implants are devices placed inside penis of men. Typically recommended after all other treatments for ED have failed, placement of penile implant requires surgical intervention. There are two basic types of penile implants that are currently available; inflatable & semi-rigid. Both these types of penile implants work differently & so have varying pros & cons. ED patients should however make sure to properly understand what this surgical intervention involves including possible risks & complications & follow-up care before choosing to undergo penile implant surgery.
Erectile dysfunction for most men can be effectively treated with medications or by using vacuum constriction devices commonly known as penis pump. Penile implants surgery is only considered in cases which are no good candidates for other treatments or when ED patients cannot obtain sufficient erection for sexual activity by using other methods. Penile implants are also utilized to treat severe cases of Peyronie’s disease involving scarring inside penis eventually leading to curved & painful erections.
However, penile implants are not ideal procedure for everyone. Doctors will caution men against penile implants if they have the following conditions.
ED patients must keep in mind that although penile implants allow men get erections, they do not increase sexual sensation or desire in any way. Penile implants also do not make penis any larger than it was at the time of surgery. In fact, erect penis after penile implant surgery may be slightly shorter than it naturally used to be earlier.
When you talk to doctors or urologists about penile implants, they would most likely take the following steps.
There are two basic types of penile implants.
Special designs of penile implants nowadays can provide increased length or even fit a shortened penis. Some types of inflatable penile implants are available with coatings of antibiotics meant to reduce risk of infection. However, it is important to consider personal preference & medical history when choosing the right type of penile implant. Doctors will be willing to suggest one type of penile implant over another based upon factors like age, health condition, risk of infection, injuries and/or medical treatments patients have undergone in the past.
Penile implant surgery is normally performed under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia medication which blocks pain in lower part of the body. Doctors will also provide IV antibiotics so as to help prevent chances of infections. Site of surgery will also be shaved prior to surgery so as to reduce risk of infection. Catheter is commonly inserted into bladder through penis to collect urine during surgery. Incision of penile implant will be made below head of penis & base of penis and/or in lower abdomen. Surgeons will then stretch the spongy tissue in penis which will normally fill with blood during erections & which is located inside each corpora cavernosa or the two hollow chambers. Following this, surgeons will choose the correct size of penile implant & place implant cylinders inside penis. All sizes of penile implants are customized to exact measurements of penis. Surgeons implanting a 2-piece inflatable penile implant device will place the pump & valve inside scrotum. The 3-piece penile implant device will additionally place a fluid reservoir under abdominal wall through an internal incision.Once the penile implant device is in place, surgeons will sew close the incisions. The entire penile implant surgery normally takes about 45 – 60 minutes to complete.
Patients will most likely need to take medications so as to ease pain after penile implant surgery. Mild pain may however persist for several weeks following surgery. Patients will also need to take antibiotics at least for 7 days so as to prevent infections. Surgeons often recommend patients keep penis upon lower abdomen pointing towards bellybutton during healing process in order to prevent downward curvature. Surgeons also provide specific instructions to patients as to when they can resume normal activities. Normally, most men can resume strenuous physical activities including sexual activity between 4 – 6 weeks following penile implant surgery. Surgeons might recommend fully inflating & deflating inflatable penile implants at least twice a day at this point so as to give patients practice using them & also to stretch the area surrounding cylinders.
Some common risks associated with penile implant surgery include the following.
Infection can however occur at any time following penile implant surgery, although it is quite rare that infections occur years later. Serious penile implant infection can cause fever, pus buildup & swelling of scrotum. Surgery to remove penile implant is always necessary so as to treat infection. While replacing penile implants can be costly & complicated, it can also lead to formation of scar tissue, loss of sensation & decrease in length of penis.
Penile implant surgery is one of the most expensive & least often chosen procedures for erectile dysfunction. However, most men undergoing penile implant surgery & their partners have reported satisfaction with penile implant devices.
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