The Basics of Penile Implants

doctor-medical-medicine-health-stetoscopePenile implants (also known as penile prostheses) were introduced as the first effective organic treatment for erectile dysfunction over three decades ago. They are considered to have an important role in the treatment of erectile dysfunction when other treatment options have proven unsatisfactory. However, while they do provide some good satisfaction and a predictable result, they are the least chosen and most invasive treatment option. In fact, a penile implant should be only used when there is a clear medical cause for ED and when the problem is unlikely to resolve or improve naturally or with other medical or natural treatments.

What are penile implants?

Penile implants are devices put inside the penis that allow men with erectile dysfunction (ED) to get an erection.

Types of penile implants

There are two types of penile prostheses, external (e.g., vacuum constriction devices) and internal (i.e., implants). However, in general and common terms, the term “penile implant” usually refers to the internal implant that is placed inside your penis through surgery.

  1. Internal implantsPenile implant surgery usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. The surgeon makes an incision below the head of the penis, at the base of the penis or in the lower abdomen. Next, the surgeon stretches the spongy tissue in the penis that would normally fill with blood during an erection. This tissue is inside each of the two hollow chambers called the corpora cavernosa. After flushing the area with antibiotic fluid to prevent infection, your surgeon will choose the correct size implant and place the implant cylinders inside the penis.
  2. Inflatable penile prosthesisThe inflatable penile prosthesis consists of two cylinders, a reservoir and a pump, which are placed surgically in the body. The two cylinders are inserted in the penis and connected by tubing to a separate reservoir of fluid. The reservoir is implanted under the groin muscles. A pump is also connected to the system and sits under the loose skin of the scrotal sac, between the testicles. To inflate the prosthesis, the man presses on the pump. The pump transfers fluid from the reservoir to the cylinders in the penis, inflating them. Pressing on a deflation valve at the base of the pump returns the fluid to the reservoir, deflating the penis.

When the penis is inflated, the prosthesis makes the penis stiff and thick, similar to a natural erection. However, most men rate the erection as shorter than their normal erection.

Side effects associated with penile implants

Infection: Infection associated with the implants should be considered if the patient has persistent pain beyond 2 months following the surgery. Similarly, men with diabetes, spinal cord injuries, or open sores may have an increased risk of infection associated with an implant.

Pain: You may experience pain or discomfort at the penis during the early time after surgery and when you first have sex after the surgery. In most cases the pain goes away within a few weeks of surgery; however, cases of chronic (continuing) pain have been reported.

Abnormal shape & curvature: Implantation of a penile prosthesis may result in penile shortening, curvature or scarring.

Allergy: As penile implants are made of a variety of synthetic materials, chances of allergy (hypersensitivity reaction) to that specific material are quite high. If a hypersensitivity reaction develops to an implant, the penile prosthesis should be removed.

Also, as no surgery is totally free of possible complications, other side effects associated with penile implants include:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding after the surgery possibly leading to re-operation
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Erosion (tissue around the implant may break down)
  • Mechanical failure

All in all penile implants should be only considered when medication has been ineffective or all other ways and devices have proven unsatisfactory to increase penis length and girth.

One of the best device-based yet natural methods to resolve the issue of erectile dysfunction is to use traction-based penis extenders (e.g. SizeGenetics) that not only safely and effectively treat ED but are also an effective way to increase the size of your penis permanently.

Is it worth it?

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