Have you been asking yourself lately how penile implants work? A penile implant is a way to go if you’ve not been able to resolve your erectile dysfunction with the traditional treatment modes. Penile prostheses which are either semi-rigid or inflatable are installed within the scrotum and penis through a surgical procedure. Your doctor or surgeon will suggest a suitable penile prosthesis for you (inflatable or non-inflatable) after reviewing your medical history, the underlying cause of ED, and conducting a thorough physical examination.
You’d be an ideal candidate for a semi-rigid or articulated (non-inflatable) implant if your manual dexterity is limited (caused by a joint disorder or spinal cord injury). However, inflatable two-piece and three-piece prostheses are more popular than the non-inflatable types because of their handiness and effectiveness.
Aspects your doctor will consider before suggesting an appropriate implant
Apart from your personal preference, your doctor will consider several other factors before recommending a suitable penile prosthesis. These factors, amongst other things, include:-
- Your partner’s and your ages
- Your physique (height and weight)
- Previous pelvic or abdominal surgeries (if any)
- Dimensions of penis, glans penis (the tip or head of the penis), and scrotum
- Kidney transplant surgery if any
- Whether a penis is circumcised or not
- History of colostomy
- Life expectancy
- Overall wellbeing
Mechanism of how penile implants work
The inflatable penile implant, both the 3-piece and the 2-piece devices, have similar structures and operation mechanism. The components of a three-piece implant comprise dual cylinders, a pump with release valve, and a reservoir filled with fluid. These components are separate in the three-volume prosthesis while in a two-piece device-the pump and reservoir constitute one section and the dual cylinders or tubes make up the 2nd component.
To achieve an erection, you’ll need to blow up or expand the implant. This you do by squeezing the pump positioned inside your scrotal sac. The mechanical action of the pump pushes the saline fluid out of the reservoir. The fluid drains into the cylinders (installed inside the penis) causing them to inflate, eventually giving you an erection that is strong and taut enough for satisfactory coitus.
When it comes to using the semi-rigid or articulated penile implant, you simply need to lift your penis to align it with your partner’s vulva for thrusting it inside the vagina.
Sex life post surgery
Most men have reported that on inflating the implant, they achieve an erection that is more or less identical to a normal erection, regarding firmness and girth. However, these men have also mentioned that the length of the penis when fully erect is somewhat shorter compared to a usual erection. The prosthesis does not in any way impede the capability to attain orgasm or adversely affect sensations felt on the penis’s skin.
Unfortunately, implantation of the prosthesis damages the natural reflex that triggers an erection. In other words, you may not be able to experience an erection if you do not inflate the device. On the other hand, you may never be able to have a normal erection if the prosthesis is taken out.
You can talk to our prosthetic specialist or urologist for a better understanding of the modus operandi of the different penile implants.