Understanding Penile Implants
Understanding Penile Implants:
A penile implant, also known as a penile prosthesis, is a medical device surgically implanted to assist individuals with erectile dysfunction (ED) in achieving an erection. There are two main types of penile implants available:
Inflatable Penile Implant: This type of implant consists of two cylinders, a pump, and a reservoir. The cylinders are placed in the penis, and the pump is inserted into the scrotum. To achieve an erection, the user activates the pump, which transfers fluid from the reservoir into the cylinders, inflating the penis. After sexual activity, the pump is pressed again to deflate the penis.
Non-Inflatable Penile Implant: In this type of implant, two flexible silicone rods are inserted into the erection chambers of the penis. The user can manually position the rods to achieve an erect state. Unlike the inflatable implant, no pumping mechanism is involved.
Who Is a Suitable Candidate for a Penile Implant?
Penile implants are recommended for individuals who have erectile dysfunction and have not found improvement with other treatment options like medications or vacuum constriction devices (penis pumps). They may also be considered as part of gender affirmation surgery for individuals undergoing phalloplasty or metoidioplasty.
How Does Penile Implant Surgery Work?
Before the surgery, a healthcare provider will evaluate the patient's overall health and discuss the appropriate type of implant for their needs. The actual surgery is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes one to two hours.
For inflatable penile implants, the surgeon places the cylinders in the penis and the reservoir in the abdomen, connected by tubing. The pump is positioned in the scrotum. After surgery, the patient can inflate and deflate the implant by using the pump.
For non-inflatable implants, flexible silicone rods are inserted into the penis, allowing the user to manually extend and retract them to achieve an erection.
What to Expect After Penile Implant Surgery:
After the procedure, patients may experience soreness in the groin and abdominal area. Pain management techniques and antibiotics may be prescribed to aid in recovery. In most cases, patients can return home a few hours after the surgery, but they will need someone to drive them home and assist with care for the first day or two.
Does Penile Implant Make the Penis Bigger?
A penile implant does not increase the size of the penis beyond its pre-surgery state. It is important to note that the head of the penis (glans) does not become engorged during inflation, which may give the impression of a shorter erection. Some modern penile implants may slightly increase penis length, thickness, and stiffness over time with use.
Sexual Experience with a Penile Implant:
Once healed, patients report that sex with a penile implant feels natural, similar to or even better than before the procedure. The implant does not affect ejaculation or orgasm, and partners cannot distinguish between a penile implant and a natural erection during intercourse.
Lifespan of Penile Implants:
On average, penile implants last about 20 years. When an implant wears out, it can be replaced with a new one through a revision surgery.
It's crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to discuss individual suitability, risks, and benefits before considering a penile implant.