Do you have erectile dysfunction? There is no need to be ashamed; this is a common problem in older men.
It is believed that every 1 in 4 men over the age of 60 suffers from ED. Follow this article to find out if you are a suitable candidate for penile implants and all the details you will require to make an informed decision.
What is Penile Prosthesis? How does it work?
There are two types of penile prosthesis you can obtain:
- A 3-piece inflatable penile implant (also available in a two-piece)
- Malleable penile implant
Both options are customized to your unique needs and will provide you with an erection anytime you need it. Although they are surgically placed, they will not affect your sensitivity or ability to ejaculate.
Inflatable rods are inserted into the penis and a pump into the scrotum. These rods are filled with a saline solution, and when you squeeze the pump, the solution shoots up to the rods, which causes them to inflate, thus giving you an erection. Deflation is as simple as pressing a button that will also be located in your scrotum.
Flexible implants, also known as malleable implants, are straightforward to use; all you have to do is straighten your penis to the desired position, and once done, bend it back down to achieve a flaccid appearance. Flexible options like the Genesis Malleable Penile Implant are inserted into the shaft of the penis and consist of two adjustable rods.
Inflatable Rods vs. Flexible Implants
The most significant difference between these two products is that the inflatable option tends to provide a more natural erection than flexible rods. The adjustable rods produce a permanent firmness and need to be hidden.
Who is a Good Candidate for Penile Prosthesis?
This procedure is usually reserved for men who have tried alternative options that did not work.
Possible candidates include men with the following problems:
- Frequently not being able to have or maintain an erection.
- If Viagra, Cialis, Vardenafil, and Stendra have not worked for you.
- If you’ve tried a penis pump implant and it has not worked.
- Conditions like Peyronie’s disease that make other treatments impossible.
You might not qualify if:
- Your erectile dysfunction stems from emotional issues.
- You have no sex drive.
- You have a urinary tract infection.
- You can cure your ED by different methods.
- If there are issues with your penis or scrota skin like swelling, inflammation, and cuts.
The surgeon’s assistant will shave the pubic area, a catheter inserted, and an IV for antibiotics and alternative medication. Then, the surgeon will apply an anesthetic, and once you are asleep, the surgery will begin.
An incision is made to the base of your penis or below the head and your lower abdominal area. Next, your doctor will stretch the tissue in the penis and position the implant. Next, the pump will be placed in your scrotum, and you will be stitched up.
If you have the flexible implant placed, the surgeon will insert two rods, and nothing will be done to your scrotum.
As for the two-piece inflatable implant, the pump, reservoir, and valve will be placed in your scrotum.
If you choose the three-piece option, the reservoir is placed under the abdomen wall and the pump in the scrotum. The procedure is quick and should only take 20-60 minutes.
Do Penile Implants Work?
Yes, this surgery is very effective, and 80 – 90% of men report positive outcomes.
However, just like most surgeries, there are some possible risks which include:
- Mechanical failures
Does it Hurt?
The surgery itself will not be painful as you will be under anesthetic, but you can expect some discomfort or pain for a few days afterward. It should take around a week or two for these symptoms to disappear.
If you find the pain unbearable, there are specific treatments that can help:
- Your doctor can drain any fluid that has built up
- Pain medication
- Compressive surgical dressings
The duration of your recovery will differ due to multiple factors, and you should always check with your doctor before engaging in intercourse for the first time post-surgery.
If there are no complications from your surgery (complications are infrequent), you will be able to go home on the same day, and in few cases, you will sleep at the hospital for one night. However, there will be some discomfort or pain, so you will be prescribed pain medication and antibiotics to ensure no infection.
Additional instructions you may receive are as follows:
- Only engage in intercourse 4-6 weeks after your surgery.
- You need to keep your penis pointed upwards towards your belly button to prevent it from curving downwards.
- A date will be set for removing your stitches.
- When you can resume daily activities like your job and exercise.
- The surgeon and nurses will give you a guide on how to use the implant.
It would be best if you also were given exercises to help you practice how to inflate and deflate the implant, which should be done every day. This will help you as well as stretch the tissue inside the penis.
How Much do Penile Implants Cost?
The price will vary depending on what type of implant you are getting and your geographical location. Always check with your medical insurance if they cover the procedure and if there will be any co-payments. Generally, you can expect to pay $16,000-$19,000.
If your insurer does not provide coverage or doesn’t have any medical insurance, you can speak to your doctor about arranging a payment plan.
What are the Advantages of Penile Prosthesis?
Penile Implants have many significant advantages; here are the top 5:
The implant is surgically placed, so no one will know it’s there.
While there will be discomfort after the surgery, you will be able to get back to normal with little to no complications.
It is the fastest way to achieve an erection if you are suffering from ED. All you have to do is pump it up or hold it up (depending on what type you have), and your erection will last as long as you want.
- It’s easy to use
It’s as easy as squeezing the pump in your scrotum or moving your penis into place. There is no unique technology that you need to worry about.
Penile Implants can last up to 10 years.
- Quick Recovery
It is a short procedure and will only take you a few weeks to heal. Although you have to wait around six weeks to have intercourse, it only takes 3-5 days before you will be ready to go back to work.
There are a few disadvantages associated with this procedure compared to other less evasive options:
- It is permanent, which means you won’t achieve a natural erection with the implant. Also, This will be the case if it is removed.
- It is a surgical procedure, so that it will require a recovery period.
- There is a chance of malfunction; this is especially the case with the 2 or 3 piece options.
- With the malleable implant, there is a chance that your erection won’t be as hard.
- The malleable implant causes constant pressure on the penis, which might result in injury for certain patients.
- There is a risk for infection. Although this is extremely rare, there is still a slight chance the surgical site can get infected. This can be treated with antibiotics.
Can Women tell if a Man has a Penile Implant?
No, a woman will not be able to tell; the implant is surgically placed. The only way anyone would be able to tell is if they saw the scars from the procedure.
Does Penile Prosthesis add length?
No, it will not add length to your penis. However, it might shorten it due to the implant not reaching the head.
Will Sex be Different?
Once the implant is inflated or moved into place, it will feel similar to a regular erection regarding girth and how hard it gets. The only difference is that the head of the penis will not be stiff.
These implants should not affect the way intercourse feels, and you will still be able to orgasm and ejaculate.
Penile implants should always be your last resort as it is permanent and you are likely never to achieve a natural erection again, even if it is removed. However, even though this is the case, most men are satisfied with the outcome and find the implants very effective.
There are some risks to the surgery, and you should be fully prepared for the outcome before committing to it. Finding a good physician is a crucial component of the procedure. Always do your research before consulting with just anyone.
The implant is designed to last around ten years, but this does depend on how frequently it is used. If you need to find a more permanent solution for ED and nothing else has worked for you, a penile prosthesis is a perfect option for you.
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