A penile implant, a penile prosthesis, is a surgical procedure used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). The implant is a device inserted into the penis to help a man achieve and maintain an erection.
There are several different types of penile implants available, but the most common types are inflatable and malleable implants.
Inflatable implants consist of two cylinders placed inside the penis, a reservoir placed in the abdomen, and a pump placed in the scrotum. To use the implant, the man squeezes the pump in the scrotum, which causes the cylinders to fill with fluid from the reservoir and become erect. To return to a flaccid state, the man presses a release valve on the pump, which allows the fluid to flow back into the reservoir.
Malleable implants consist of two rods that are placed inside the penis. The rods can be adjusted to create an erection or make the penis flaccid.
The surgical procedure to insert a penile implant is typically performed under general anesthesia and takes about 1 to 2 hours. During the procedure, the surgeon makes an incision in the scrotum or the base of the penis to access the erectile tissue. The implant is then inserted, and the incision is closed with sutures.
Recovery from the procedure usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks. During this time, the man should avoid sexual activity and heavy lifting. The implant can usually be used about 6 to 8 weeks after surgery once the incision has fully healed.
It’s important to note that penile implants are a treatment option for men who have not responded to other forms of treatment for ED, such as medications or vacuum devices. It is a major surgery with risks, such as infection, bleeding, and scarring. It is essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure with a healthcare provider before deciding whether to undergo surgery.