Penile implants for erectile dysfunction
Penile implants, also known as penile prosthesis, are implantable devices that are offered to men with erectile dysfunction (ED). These devices are suited for men who have failed oral medications, penile injection therapy, and vacuum erection devices. They are popular with men who desire a long-term, convenient solution that allows spontaneous sexual relations.
Who are good candidates for penile implants?
Penile implants are not a first-line solution for erectile dysfunction. Instead, they are recommended for men who are diagnosed with chronic, organic erectile dysfunction, and have failed more conservative treatment options. Organic erectile dysfunction is the most common form of ED, compared to impotence with a psychological origin.
Organic erectile dysfunction
In general terms, organic erectile dysfunction describes any physical condition that restricts blood flow to erectile tissue in the penis. This blood flow restriction negatively affects the quality of an erection. Types of organic erectile dysfunction include vasculogenic ED and venous leak syndrome.
Vasculogenic ED is caused by poor arterial blood flow to the penis. Venous leak occurs when blood that is being pumped to the penis become trapped in erectile tissue. In both cases, men are unable to produce or maintain a rigid erection.
Conditions that may contribute to organic erectile dysfunction include:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Heart disease
- Neurogenic conditions (nervous system)
- Peyronie’s disease (penile curvature)
- Hormone imbalances
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spine cord injuries
There are different types of penile implants that can be surgically placed in men. These devices include:
Semi-rigid devices – This device consist of a flexible rod that is implanted into the penis. This rod will remain rigid during intercourse, and can be bent and concealed under clothing after intercourse.
Inflatable penile implants – Inflatable implants rely on a pump to inflate them before use. One type of inflatable implant consists of two rods and a pump / reservoir that is placed in the scrotum. When ready to use, the male patient simply squeezes the pump to fill and lengthen the rods. A second inflatable device consists of two rods, a scrotal pump, and a separate reservoir that is permanently filled with saline. When ready to activate, the scrotal pump is squeezed to release saline into the rods for lengthen. After intercourse, the saline can be reversed, and the rods deflated. Inflatable penile implants are more common, and closely resembles a normal erection.
The insertion of a penile implant is performed in a hospital or surgical center under general anesthesia. The penile implant is usually activated and ready for use after four to 9 weeks. The most common risks following implantation is infection and failure of the device.
If you have failed oral medication, injection therapy, or other forms of therapy for erectile dysfunction, contact Urology Austin to schedule an appointment with one of our urologists.