What Men Should Know About Penile Implants

According to the Cleveland Clinic, as many as 52 percent of men experience erectile dysfunction during their lifetime. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a man’s inability to maintain an erection for sexual activity. There are more than three million reported cases of ED per year.

Patients suffering from erectile dysfunction should first be evaluated for any underlying physical and psychological conditions. If treatment of the underlying conditions doesn’t solve the problem, medications and assistive devices, such as pumps and penile implants, can be prescribed by your urologist.

What is Erectile Dysfunction? (ED)

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a man’s inability to maintain an erection for sexual activity. As a man, having this psychological or physiological condition can cause stress, strain intimate relationships, and cause low self-confidence.

ED can occur because of problems at any stage of the erection process. For example, the penile arteries may be too damaged to open properly and allow blood in. An accurate diagnosis is the first step towards finding the right treatment for you.

Potential causes of erectile dysfunction include:

  •  Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  •  Damage from cancer or surgery
  •  Injuries
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  •  Relationship problems
  • Drug use
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking

What is a Penile Implant?

A penile prosthesis is another treatment option for men, used when there is a clear medical cause for ED, or when the problem is unlikely to resolve or improve naturally or with other medical treatments. A penile implant (or penile prosthesis) is a medical device that is custom-fit and surgically placed into a penis to produce a natural-looking and natural-feeling erection.

These devices are either malleable or inflatable. The simplest type of prosthesis consists of a pair of malleable (bendable) rods surgically implanted within the erection chambers of the penis. With this type of implant the penis is always semi-rigid, and merely needs to be lifted or adjusted into the erect position to initiate sex. Today, many men choose a hydraulic, inflatable prosthesis, which allows a man to have an erection whenever he chooses and is more natural and much easier to conceal.

The inflatable penile prosthesis has two main parts, a reservoir and a pump, surgically placed in the body. The two cylinders are inserted in the penis and connected by tubing to a separate reservoir of fluid. The reservoir is implanted under the groin muscles, controlled by a pump system that sits under the loose skin of the scrotal sac, between the testicles. To inflate the prosthesis, the man presses on the pump. The pump transfers fluid from the reservoir to the cylinders in the penis, inflating them. Pressing on a deflation valve at the base of the pump returns the fluid to the reservoir, deflating the penis.

What Men Should Know About Penile Implants

  • Insurance: Penile implants as a procedure, is in fact covered by most insurances, including Medicare.
  • Success Rate: Penile Implants usually have a success rate of 90 percent or higher.
  • Minimal Recovery Time: After receiving the penile implant surgery, depending on the person, recovery time is usually four to six weeks.

If you have any questions about penile implants or concerns about ED, call Charlotte Men’s Health at (704) 786-5131 to request an appointment with Dr. Richard Natale.

Skip to content