All About Penile Implants for Erectile Dysfunction
One of the main reasons why lots of men hide their struggles with erectile dysfunction (further ED) is that they are confident that this problem is a natural part of aging. This fact is far from the truth!
Since Viagra appeared on the pharmacy market, it has been a salvation to a huge number of patients with sexual disorders. For males who feel that blue pills are not effective for them anymore, scientists offer a surgical solution for the problem.
What Is Penile Implant?
The prescribed ED pills are usually the first level help for men who have erectile dysfunction, but in some cases they don’t work. If a standard medication treatment is not an instant fix, a penile implant could be a real hope for a patient.
A penile implant (another name is a penile prosthesis) is an alternative treatment variant for males with erectile disorder. This prosthesis is a medical device that is inserted into the male reproductive organ during a surgery to produce a natural-feeling and a natural-looking erection. In fact, it is a good problem solution if less invasive treatments for ED were unsuccessful, and the patient requires further treatment. There exist several types of penile implants that will be viewed further. The simplest type consists of a couple of malleable rods inserted within the erection chambers of the male organ.
Whom Is Prescribed Penile Implants?
Penile implants can be offered as treatment for middle-aged and young men who have certain problems with erectile dysfunction because of physical causes.
Also, it is an appropriate choice for patients who have ED problems that are caused by:
- pelvic surgery;
- traumatic injury to the genitals, pelvis, or spinal cord;
- blood vessel disease;
- prostate cancer surgery;
- peyronie’s disease (a curvature of the male organ).
Since penile implants permanently change the penis tissue, so they cannot be applied by men whose erection problems have appeared due to psychological causes.
A penile prosthesis is usually implanted when there is a physical medical reason and the problem is unlikely to improve with another treatment. In the case of peyronie’s disease, this device is inserted to reconstruct the male organ when scarring was the cause for such a deformation.
Evolution of Penile Implants
Penile implants have been used since the 1930s. In their early primitive forms, these devices were of semi-rigid and malleable types. Other treatments for impotence differed far in their shape and effectiveness from those available today.
Russian surgeon Nikolay Bogoraz developed the first implant, which was made of rib cartilage to provide rigidity. Ten years later, surgeons R.T. Bergman, R.W. Barnes, and H.A. Howard reported a successful surgery with a similar implant using a rib graft. Unfortunately, those implants had no chance to be applied further. Made from organic materials they tended to break down in cases of possible infections, which often happened after such surgeries.
In the 1950s, there came an era of acrylic stents. Ten years later, polyethylene and silicone rods were invented. The significant promotion of them appeared in 1970 with the first implantation of an inflatable penile prosthesis. This device showed the biggest advance in implant design, because it allowed a patient to achieve an erection on demand. However, in its primary forms, it had a lot of mechanical failures.
Nowadays, medicine and science work together to improve the functionality and design of penile implants. The variants that are available today represent huge improvements over the early implants in the beginning of the 20th century. They receive the highest index of patient satisfaction among all available ED treatments.
Types of Penile Implants
If men feel that the tablets don’t work well enough for them or cause some unpleasant side effects, the option of a penile implant is available. This surgically inserted system offers on-demand erections and comes in two basic variants: malleable and inflatable.
A malleable (or semi-rigid) implant is the less complicated of these two types of devices. It consists of semi-rigid rods that are inserted into the twin erectile chambers of the reproductive organ, known as corpora cavernosa. Under normal conditions, the spongy erectile tissue inside these chambers becomes filled with blood to cause an erection. When a man has lost the natural capacity to get an erection, these malleable rods can be surgically placed into the corpora cavernosa. The penis can be raised into the necessary position at the time of sexual intimacy. An inflatable penile prosthesis involves multiple parts, consisting of two cylindrical tubes that penetrate into the erectile chambers of the male organ. Applied to the cylinders a small bulb is placed under the loose skin of the scrotum. A saline solution reservoir is inserted under the muscles of the groin. All pieces are linked by a thin tubing.
Today, a lot of patients choose an inflatable (hydraulic) implant. It allows them to have an erection when they choose. Besides, it is easier to conceal, and it looks more natural.
Selecting a penile manufacturer and a penile implant that best suits a patient is the most important stage in order to achieve the best results. The main goal of any medical center is to find the best combination of all factors that will result in absolute patient satisfaction. The right choice is based on the knowledge of all variables, the patient’s disease history, and all available devices and attributes.
Non-Inflatable Penile Implant
From all types of penile implants, a non-inflatable prosthesis requires the simplest surgical skills. It amounts to only 20% of surgeries performed in the USA. This procedure is a good variant for doctors with limited surgical experience. Such an implant type includes two malleable rods surgically inserted within the erection chambers of the male organ. Besides, non-inflatable implants are the least expensive types of penile implants. This fact could be a consideration for patients who do not have medical insurance. This prosthesis is quite easy to use. It simply needs to be adjusted to the erect position to start sexual activity. When it is not used, it can bend down. This type is a good option for people with spinal cord injuries, limited hand strength, or arthritis. Implanted inside the body, this implant is totally hidden.
Along with all these advantages, these implants have evident drawbacks. With this type of prosthesis, the penis stays always semi-rigid, so it is quite bothersome for most men to have a permanent erection. Some patients have also reported that they had postoperative discomfort and pain, besides the male organ needs to adapt to a constant erection.
Moreover, some individuals complain that they feel inconvenience about the appearance of the male organ and the abnormal feelings it causes. From an expert point of view, this type of implant induces deterioration of penile flesh due to long-term use.
Two-Piece Inflatable Penile Implants
An inflatable penile implant involves two applied cylinders – a reservoir and a pump. They are also surgically implanted in the body and fully concealed. These cylinders are placed in the male organ and linked by a special tubing to a separate saline reservoir. The reservoir is inserted under the rectus muscles in the lower abdomen. The pump is also attached to this system and is located between the testicles, under the loose skin of the scrotal sac.
This surgical procedure is considered to be elementary and uncomplicated and doesn’t require a vast amount of surgical experience.
The implanted device is easy in its application and can be used by patients with limited dexterity. On the other hand, a penile pump is a small size and can be hard to inflate. In addition, it is rather tiresome for most men to have a constant partial erection. Moreover, the mentioned cylinders look unnatural, so the penis has a shape of a broom with a square head. Patients claim that this implant causes abnormal sensations.
One more minus in this prosthesis: only a small amount of liquid is moved into the cylinders to get an erection. As a result, the penis does not become as stiff as in the case with a multi-component inflatable penile device, which may result in inadequate erections.
Three-Piece or Multi-Component Inflatable Prosthesis
This penile prosthesis is known as a three-piece inflatable penile prosthesis, because it consists of three different elements. As we have noted, a two-piece inflatable penile device consists of two parts: two linked cylinders and a joined reservoir with a pump unit. In a 3-piece structure, the reservoir is not inserted behind the groin. It is joined with a pump into one housing section, which is located within the scrotum.
Such an implant is also simple to use. A larger pump makes it easier to inflate than a two-piece prosthesis. As a larger amount of fluid is transported into the cylinders for obtaining an erection, so it makes the male organ become the hardest of all types of penile implants. The penis looks normal, and feels normal both when flaccid and when erect. Most patients testify that their partners do not even realize that there is an implant inside.
After the surgery, all patients report the least amount of postoperative pain and discomfort. Judging by the complexity of the procedure, it involves a lot of surgical experience and technique.
Do Male Penile Implants Work?
If a man is sexually aroused and needs an erection, the only thing he has to do is to press the pump between his forefinger and thumb. The bulb begins to pump fluid from the reservoir into the twin cylinders, thereby inflating them. As these cylinders fill, the male organ becomes erect.
When the sexual activity is over, and the erection is no longer desired, a man squeezes and holds the pump. Thus begins the process of draining the fluid out of the penis and back into the reservoir. The penis deflates and returns to its normal flaccid state.
A patient can control the duration of his erection. If a man has a quick orgasm, his erection is not lost, so he is able to sustain it until his partner is satisfied.
With such a prosthesis, the penis looks so normal that a new partner in sexual intimacy won’t notice the difference.
Are Penile Implants Safe?
Any surgery (even performed by a high-skilled specialist) can’t be done absolutely free of any complications. The difficulties connected with penile implants may involve different problems.
The most serious situation that can happen is an infection. If the skin is infected, the problem can be solved with an antibiotic treatment. In case the infection is severe and affects an implant, then such prosthesis needs to be removed and replaced with a non-infected one. The risk of infections is higher in patients with the following diseases: urinary tract infections, spinal cord injuries, diabetes.
Other risks that are associated with this surgery may include:
- bad reaction to anesthesia;
- phlebitis (inflammation of a vein);
- any other dangers caused by existing heart disorders.
That is why all medical experts performing these surgeries consider a number of factors to choose an individual implant for each patient, namely:
- age of a patient (and his partner);
- general health of a patient;
- size of the scrotum;
- penile size;
- patient’s body type;
- ratio between the size of the scrotum and penile length;
- history of the previous penile prosthesis (if any);
- presence of a penile deformity;
- previous surgery (prostate, bladder, or vascular surgery);
- history of kidney or any other pelvic surgery.
How Are Penile Implants Effective?
Nearly 95% of inflatable implants give patients an opportunity to produce an erection suitable for sexual intercourse. Almost 80%-90% of males who have undergone the surgery are now satisfied with the results. In their reviews, they testify that they would choose this procedure again.
After the treatment period, patients with an implant confirm that they do not feel like there is any device inside. They can begin sexual relations a month after the surgery. The male organ looks and feels so normal and natural that these men can be engaged in many different activities including diving, horseback riding, bicycling, and wrestling.
A lot of medical experts have commented on the current state of penile implant usage, saying that such a prosthesis is the only thing that really works for every man with erectile dysfunction. ED pills and injections often fail to help.
Side Effects of Penile Implants
Although an implant surgery is always performed very safely and successfully with a number of precautions taken, a few side effects may occur like after any other treatment.
Possible medical, surgical, and implant-related side effects can include:
- uncontrolled bleeding after the implantation (postoperative bleeding or hematoma formation in the place of the pump and reservoir can happen. It may displace the pump rendering it inaccessible and delaying the device activation);
- erosion of the implant components (the erosion can happen into the urethra if it was hurt during the procedure. Erosion through the skin takes place if an implant is over-sized, or an infected implant is not removed, or if it was positioned incorrectly);
- strong pain in the surgical zone (pain in the penis can occur during the first week after the procedure. Persistent pain within 2 months even with a non-infected implant can also rarely occur. The pain can last long if an implant was over-sized with an intention to make the penis bigger);
- injury to artery or vein (occasional injuries to the colon, bladder, small bowel, or major blood vessels are very rare. Still, patients must be aware of them);
- mechanical failure of a prosthesis (the cylinders can fall out of the male organ into the scrotal sac if the opening of the tunica was not properly closed. The reservoir can shift from the groin into the scrotal sac if it was not inserted correctly. The most common failure may be a leakage from the cylinders).
Implant malfunction happens not so often. An implant may break or it may be defective. Everyone knows that all devices can eventually wear out. Usually, a prosthesis works for 8 to 12 years.
Patients with an implant may also have a loss of spontaneous erectile ability. Those men who have spontaneous functional erections should be mindful of this fact.
Summing up, the success of the surgery depends much on the specialist. The more qualified the surgeon is, the fewer complications will occur. A great number of medical centers located in Tampa, FL offer qualified personnel and high-level service for their patients. Its enjoyable marine climate year-round contributes to a better recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are considering having a penile implant, you must have a lot of questions. Some men find it awkward and uncomfortable to share their hidden fears with a physician during a face-to-face consultation. Therefore, these questions stay unanswered. To bridge this gap, we have interviewed some doctors who specialized in men’s health about most common concerns that ED patients have. Below comes a full list of answers to these questions.
Does Medicare Cover Penile Implants?
A penile implant surgery is usually prescribed by your healthcare provider as soon as the medical reason for your ED is diagnosed. Most insurance programs and Medicare cover the cost of the procedure. Check with your insurance company and your physician office to determine its actual cost.
Can Penile Implants Increase Size?
It is obvious that the size of the male organ after an implant surgery is a major concern for patients. Are these implants able to increase size of the penis?
The size of an erect and flaccid penis with a prosthesis depends on a number of factors. When the male organ is flaccid, it will appear wider and longer with an implant because the implanted cylinders prevent it from a full retraction. No doubt, there are some surgeons that promise their clients unrealistic effects like length enlargement; however, a penile implant in no way enhances penis size.
We recommend men to focus on the aim of having a penile prosthesis: its sexual function. Naturally, after such implantation, a patient will see certain differences in his penis. Anyway, his goal is reached! He will be engaged in sexual activity again! There is nothing better than a normal erection. Thus, each patient has to maintain realistic expectations.
Can Anyone Notice the Prosthesis?
A penile implant is completely hidden inside a man’s body, so no one can see it. Other people or your new partners are even unable to tell that you have a penile prosthesis. Really, no one will find it out unless you tell them. As men undergo a surgery procedure, they might notice a small surgical scar at the place where the bottom of the male organ meets the scrotal sac (or in the lower abdomen above the penis). There is no reason to feel embarrassed about this in a public restroom or a locker room.
How Soon After Surgery Can I Have a Sex?
The recovery time depends on a patient’s health condition, so it is rather an individual process. Usually this period lasts 4-6 weeks. Your doctor will give you a detailed consultation and determine the necessary after-surgery therapy. It is important to follow all his recommendations to ensure the best outcome. As a rule, patients stay in the hospital for a day or two after the surgery. To prevent infection they will have to take antibiotics for up to 2 weeks after the implantation. The urinary catheter is used for the first day after the implant procedure. Sexual intercourse can be also restarted in 4-6 weeks.
Can I Reach an Orgasm with Penile Prosthesis?
With a penile prosthesis, men are able to get an orgasm only if they could have one before the surgery. Your physician will describe the expected outcome to you. When the penis is inflated, an implant makes the male organ thick and stiff, similar to a natural erection. Anyway, this prosthesis does not change the skin sensation of your penis or your ability to get an orgasm. They remain the same before and after the surgery. Also, an implant doesn’t affect the ejaculation process.
What Celebrities Have Penile Implants?
A happy marriage life is impossible without balanced sexual relationships. Most men try to restore their intimacy by any means, including surgery. Celebrities are no exception. How the paparazzi claim it, anonymous implant procedures are a widely spread practice even among world-known people.
Alternative to Bionic Penis
If you are considering a surgery to get rid of erection problems, it is necessary to involve your partner in this decision. Try to get realistic expectations about the type of erections you will have with a penile prosthesis. If you think that the risks of this surgery are too big (including infections, malfunctions), try other options. The pharmacy market is full of products that fight against ED: injections, vacuum pumps, medicines, etc.
ViaBestBuy offers good alternatives to a bionic penis. Viagra and Cialis are our bestsellers for erectile dysfunction problems. Priligy will help to combat the problem of premature ejaculation. Super P Force effectively copes with both these sexual concerns. All medicines are available at our online source in any dosage and packing. Start with a safe traditional medication before you dare to entrust your life to a surgeon.