Different types of Penile Implant: Semi-rigid

What are the Semi-rigid penile implants? Penile Implants are used to treat Erectile Dysfunction (ED). They provide physical support to the penis so that the patient can achieve an erection. Semi-rigid implants are by far the cheapest and simplest to use. They are composed of two flexible, silicone rods that are surgically placed into the erectile tissue of the penis. Whenever the patient is ready for sexual activity, all he has to do is bend his penis upward. When he is done, he can turn the penis downward for concealment.

Manufacturers of Semi-rigid implant

The most common types of semi-rigid implants are both created by American Medical Systems, Inc. (AMS) and Coloplast and are very similar in construction and functionality. However, the Coloplast model called Genesis is offered in 9, 11, and 13 cm diameters and can be trimmed to meet the patient’s specific measurements. Antibiotic devices help reduce infection rates dramatically in patients who have penile implant surgery. All AMS models are coated with antibiotic to help reduce infection.

Advantages of semi-rigid penile implants

As with any medical device, there are pros and cons to the semi-rigid implant. The prosthesis provides a constant state of erection for the penis; therefore, it is effortless to use especially for men who have problems with manual dexterity. This also allows for spontaneous sexual activity because the patient does not need to wait for the device to be primed before using. Because of the relative simplicity of this implant and its installment, there are fewer components that can individually malfunction over time. Finally, since the implant is a mechanical device, it does not rely on the chemical makeup of the patient’s body to help the patient achieve an erection. Therefore, there is a much lower failure rate with the implant as compared to the oral medications.

Disadvantages of semi-rigid implants

However, due to its constant rigid state, this implant can promote the highest rate of penile tissue erosion as compared to inflatable implants. The inability to return to a natural flaccid state can also cause some pain to the patient. Placement of the device can also remove the patient’s natural ability to have an erection. Finally, the device doesn’t offer any expansion of the girth or lengthening of the penis.

Semi-rigid implant satisfaction rates

Despite all of these issues, satisfaction rates continue to remain high (91%) for patients who have undergone semi-rigid penile implant surgery. The semi-rigid implants continue to be an excellent choice especially for men who have difficulty with their hand and finger dexterities or who have limited mobility. Today, with many patients demanding higher quality and safer medical devices, there is continued research being done to improve upon the semi-rigid penile implants currently available on the market.

If you would like to know more about how penile implants can benefit you and your partner, contact us today at 212-541-6239 and schedule your free appointment. To find out more about penile implants, visit our website at fifthavenueurology.com.



Montague DK, Lakin MM. Early experience with the controlled girth and length expanding cylinder of the American Medical Systems Ultrex penile prosthesis. J Urol. 1992;148:1444–6.

Mayo Clinic. Penile Implants. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/penile-implants/about/pac-20384916

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