What Are the Different Types of Penile Implants?

Although there are a number of nonsurgical treatments for erectile dysfunction (ED) – such as medication, vacuum-assisted devices, lifestyle changes, exercise, and psychological counseling – not all of them work for every man.

When they don’t work, that’s when many men suffering from ED consider a penile implant. A penile prosthesis is a surgically implanted device designed to enable a patient to achieve an erection.

What Can Help My ED?

A penile prosthesis (or penile implant) is intended to allow the patient to have a rigid enough penis to penetrate for intercourse. There are three common types of devices used as implants:

Three-Piece Inflatable Pump

This is the most common type of penile implant used. It involves the placement of two cylinders in the patient’s penis, an inflatable pump in the scrotum, and a fluid-filled container in the abdomen – all of which are connected by special tubing.

To create an erection, the pump in the scrotum is squeezed, causing fluid to flow from the container into the cylinders. When a release valve is squeezed, the fluid flows out of the cylinder and back into the container, causing the penis to become flaccid.

When this type of penile implant is inflated, it acts and feels like a natural erection and is just as comfortable when the user is flaccid. The only downside to the three-piece inflatable pump is that it has more parts that could potentially malfunction.

Two-Piece Inflatable Pump

This kind of implant is similar to the three-piece inflatable device in that it functions the same way. Only instead of having a separate container, the fluid is stored in the inflatable pump in the scrotum.

However, this device is not as rigid as the three-piece implant and is more mechanically complicated than the third option…

Semi-Rigid or Malleable Rods

This type of prosthesis involves the implantation of two flexible rods into the penis. These implants don’t change in size or stiffness; they maintain their semi-rigid state but can easily be adjusted to different positions before and after sexual intercourse. Also, since there are a small number of parts, semi-rigid implants have less chance of malfunctioning.

Nevertheless, many men find the constant rigidity of this option uncomfortable as it puts constant pressure on the inside of the penis, which can lead to injury. It is also more difficult to conceal under your clothing.

There are also other special designs of penile implants that can fit penises of varying size. Some inflatable implants are even antibiotic-coated to help reduce the risk of infection.

Experienced Urologist in Concord, NC

When choosing which type of penile implant is right for you, a urologist will focus not only on your personal preference, but also your medical history, age, risk of infection and other factors. Although penile implants require invasive surgery and are therefore less popular than pills or other options to treat ED, most men who have chosen this option have reported satisfaction with their devices.

If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction and are looking for solutions, contact us today at Carolina Urology Partners in Concord, North Carolina. Dr. Richard Natale will meet with you privately to discuss your many options and offer comprehensive, discreet, and compassionate care.

Call our office today at (704) 786-5131 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you enjoy a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.


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