Penile prosthesis surgery is a treatment option for men with erectile dysfunction (ED). While some men consider it the final option for those suffering from impotence, it is a useful and successful way to treat ED. A penile implant can be placed in any patient with a clear medical cause for ED. Surgical treatments are usually the best option for patients suffering from ED as non-surgical treatments only delay the inevitable treatment decision to have sexual intercourse with an implant or no sex at all.
How Does the Penile Prosthesis Work?
Penile prosthesis are either malleable (bendable) or inflatable. The simplest type of penile implant consists of a pair of malleable rods surgically implanted in the erection chambers of the penis (corpora). This implant works by keeping the penis erect and may be moved into any desired position by the patient. While highly effective in maintaining an erection, the malleable penile prosthesis is difficult to conceal.
The inflatable penile prosthesis works different in that the patient can increase or decrease an erection. This penile prosthesis is a three part system: two inflatable cylinders, a reservoir and a pump. The two cylinders are inserted into the erection chambers and are connected by tubing to a reservoir of fluid. The reservoir is implanted behind or in the abdominal wall. A small pump connected to the system, is placed in the scrotal sac.
To inflate the penile prosthesis, the man presses on the pump. This transfers fluid from the reservoir to the cylinders in the penis. The more the pump is pressed, the “harder” the erection. An inflatable implant can fully deflate the prosthesis so only the patient knows he has a penile prosthesis. Patients must be able to manipulate the pump in order for the prosthesis to work.
Risks of Penile Prosthesis Surgery for Erectile Dysfunction
While most patients have a successful penile prosthesis surgery for erectile dysfunction, it’s important to understand the risks:
Sometimes repeat surgery is necessary to remove, repair or replace a broken penile implant. Men who need surgery to adjust or replace an implant are at higher risk of infection than they were with the first surgery.
Similar to a hernia of your stomach, an implant may try to erode through the skin. If erosion happens, they are treated like hernias by reinforcing the tissues with suture.
How Effective is Penile Prosthesis Surgery for Erectile Dysfunction ?
Satisfaction rates with the penile prosthesis are very high. About 90%-95% of inflatable prosthesis implants produce erections suitable for intercourse.