A penile implant or penile prosthesis a surgical treatment option for men with erectile dysfunction. Some consider it the “last ditch” option for men suffering from impotence. A penile implant can be placed in any patient with a clear medical cause for ED. Most of these problems fail to resolve spontaneously with non-surgical treatments. Existing non-surgical treatments for ED delay the inevitable treatment decision: sex with an implant or no sex at all. Sometimes a penile prosthesis is implanted to reconstruct the penis when scarring has caused erections to curve (Peyronie’s disease) precluding sex.
Penile implants are either malleable (bendable) or inflatable. There are various companies around the world that design and produce penile prostheses such as:
The Inflatable Penile Implant – This penile prosthesis consists of three components: two inflatable cylinders, a reservoir, and a pump. All components are concealed in the body. The two cylinders are inserted into the same erection chambers as the malleable penile prosthesis but they are connected by tubing to a separate reservoir of fluid. The reservoir is implanted in or behind the abdominal wall. A pump is also connected to the system and sits in the scrotal sac, between the testicles. To inflate the prosthesis, the man presses on the pump in the scrotum transferring fluid from the reservoir to the cylinders in the penis causing an erection. The more firmly one compresses the pump, the “harder” the erection. There is a deflation valve on the pump allowing fluid to return to the reservoir, deflating the penis and returning it to the normal flaccid state. Because a patient with a three-piece implant is able to fully deflate the prosthesis, others are unable to tell that he has a penile prosthesis. Most men would not be embarrassed in a locker room, public restroom, pool or beach for example. Patients must have reasonable dexterity to manipulate the pump.
Malleable Penile Implant – The simplest type of penile prosthesis consists of a pair of malleable rods surgically implanted within the erection chambers of the penis, also known as the corpora. With this type of implant, the penis is always rigid and may be moved into any desired position determined by the patient. Because the implant is always hard, the malleable penile prosthesis is difficult to conceal. Far from physiologic, this was the first penile implant and has been a reliable form of treatment for ED for nearly 50 years.