Semi-Rigid (Malleable) Penile Implants

What is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

semi-rigid-malleable-penile-implant-surgeon-01Penile 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.

Pros of Semi-rigid Implant

Effortless and Simple to use

semi-rigid-penile-implant-info-top-nyc-specialist-02As 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 primarily 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.

Mechanical Implant vs. Oral medication

There is no difference between the sensation, erection, and ejaculation of the patient with the use of the implant as compared to before the implant. Once surgically placed, the device is almost undetectable save for a few small surgical scars located on the underside of the penis. Oral medications such as Viagra work by enhancing nitric oxide already present in the patient’s body, before achieving an erection.

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. Complications rates with semi-rigid implants are also lower as compared to inflatable implants.  Finally, the malfunction rate is less than five percent in the first five years, and the device lasts from eight to twelve years before it needs to be replaced.

Cons of Semi-rigid Implant

However, due to its constant rigid state, this implant can promote the highest rate of penile tissue erosion as compared to the other implants. The inability to return to a natural flaccid state can also cause some pain to the patient. If the patient has other chronic diseases that affect the vascular system, such as diabetes, the semi-rigid implant could worsen the health of the penile tissue.

If the patient requires repeated urethral catheterization, he may also experience faster erosion of the penis and may do better with an inflatable implant instead. 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.

Satisfaction with Semi-Rigid (Malleable) Implant

penile-implant-satisfaction-after-surgery-ny-nyc-03Despite all of these issues, satisfaction rates continue to remain high (91%) for patients who have undergone semi-rigid penile implant surgery. The malleable 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) 370-4170 and schedule your free appointment.

To find out more about penile implants, visit our website at



  1. 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.
  2. Mayo Clinic. Penile Implants. 

Leave a reply