Inflatable penile implants

Inflatable penile implants are prosthetic devices that are inserted and embedded inside the male reproductive organ using advanced surgical procedure.  Implants are generally used as a last resort for men who have ejaculations and experience orgasm but struggle with achieving an erection, firm and durable enough (from the perspective of time) for a fulfilling coitus.

Physicians, surgeons, and sexologists usually suggest first and second-line treatments, including the three distinct pills (Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis) and the vacuum constriction device (penis pump) for men with erectile dysfunction. The penis pump and/or the three medications serve their purpose in most of the cases. Doctors consider a penile implant surgery only when the above forms or techniques of treatments prove ineffective as far as remedying ED is concerned.

Inflatable penile implants

Penile prostheses are prosthetic or artificial tubes which are meticulously placed inside the penis. These tubes or cylinders are designed in an innovative manner, making them capable of mimicking the physiological function of the penis that causes an erection. Penile implants have been used since 1936-initially the implants were made from bone and rib cartilage.

We’ve discussed about the two basic types of penile prostheses in our previous blogs. In the last blog, we dwelt at length on non-inflatable semi-rigid and articulated implants. In this blog we focus on inflatable penile implants-their types along with the pros and cons of each type.

The first penile implant which could be truly considered an inflatable version was developed by Scott, Tim, and Bradley, in the 1970s. Since then, rapid strides made in the area of prosthetic technology that have significantly contributed towards development of advanced inflatable implants, enabling surgeons to place them with greater convenience, ultimately leading to heightened satisfaction rates.

There are two kinds of inflatable implants-two-volume and three-volume prostheses-and both function in a similar manner. For facilitating an erection, you have to press a pump that transmits fluid stored in a reservoir into the cylinders instilled in the penis. The cylinders become taut when filled with fluid leading to an erection, thereby preparing you for an intercourse. Once you’re through with coitus, you activate the release valve that drains the fluid back into the reservoir.

Two-volume penile prostheses

The two-volume penile prostheses are made up of two separate sections-a pump with a discharge valve attached at the back of the two cylinders that is placed within the penis, and a reservoir containing fluid which is positioned underneath the lower abdomen. The surgical procedure for implanting a two-piece penile prosthesis is simpler compared to that for a three-piece device.


  • Surgery is simple compared to the operation for a three-piece implant
  • Penis appears more lifelike and natural during phases of erection and flaccidity in comparison to semi-rigid prostheses
  • Controlling the device is easier compared to the three-volume implant
  • Incisions do not have to be in the abdomen


  • Perimeter or circumference of the penis does not increase noticeably even after fully inflating the cylinders
  • Less concealed and flaccid compared to three-volume implants in deactivated state
  •  Likelihood of malfunctioning or developing leaks is also more compared to the three-piece device

Three-volume penile prostheses

A three-volume penile prosthesis consists of a pump with a built-in discharge valve, a reservoir housing a saline fluid, and two cylinders. The surgery associated with the three-piece implant is the most complicated amongst all penile prostheses types.


  • The erection you achieve is almost natural and better than those you get with semi-rigid or two-piece devices


  • Surgical process is considerably extensive
  • Costliest amongst all implant types
  • Highly vulnerable to leakage and dysfunction
  • Requires the user to have good skills for operating it

Concluding remarks

For an in-depth understanding of inflatable penile implants and their mechanisms, you can shoot an email to us or contact our surgeon.




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