What is a penile implant?
An implant is a mechanical device that is implanted in the penis in order to have penetrative sexual intercourse. Penile implants have been on the market for nearly 40 years. Hundreds of thousands of penile implants have been placed over the years. Long term patient and partner satisfaction is very high – well over 90%.
How does a penile implant work?
There are two kinds of implants – inflatable and malleable.
The most common inflatable implant is a 3 piece, fluid filled implant. It is designed to produce a natural feeling erection and allows for a flaccid, “normal” appearance when not having sex. The 3 pieces are: a pair of inflatable cylinders (“tubes”) implanted in the penis, a pump in the scrotum, and a reservoir of water placed in the lower abdomen. When you squeeze the pump several times, the water from the reservoir is transferred to the cylinders in the penis. The cylinders in the penis are like the inner tubes of a bicycle tire and can be pumped until they are very rigid. The implant, however, cannot be over-inflated and rupture. Once you and your partner have completed intercourse, you can deflate the device by pressing the deactivation button on the pump.
A malleable penile implant involves a pair of fixed rods that are placed in the penis. The penis is bent down to urinate and bent up to have sex. It does not inflate or deflate and stays rigid all the time. For that reason, malleable implants are usually offered only to people who have poor hand function and cannot squeeze a scrotal pump. People who typically benefit from a malleable implant have a spinal cord injury, advanced Parkinson’s disease, or advanced rheumatoid arthritis.
If I am naked, can anyone tell I have an implant?
The device is entirely contained within the body and cannot been seen from the outside. That means that if you are naked in the public restroom or the gym, the device cannot been seen.
What are the advantages of a penile implant?
A penile implant offers a long term solution to having penetrative intercourse. The mechanical life span of an implant is 10 to 15 years. Once the implant is activated, you can maintain an erection for as long as you desire. You can have spontaneous sex whenever the mood strikes, and maintain ejaculation and orgasm after implant surgery. The implant is designed to feel “natural” during intercourse for you as well as your partner.
Are there any risks?
Any invasive surgery carries the risks of infection, bleeding, and surgical misadventures. Infection is very rare today because the implants are impregnated with antibiotics, and surgical techniques have dramatically improved over the years.