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Erectile dysfunction

Penile Implant Surgery

Penile implants refer to devices that are placed within the penis to enable men with erectile dysfunction (ED) to attain an erection. Penile implants are generally recommended when all the other treatments for ED have failed to achieve the desired results.

There are two major types of penile implants namely; semirigid and inflatable. Each type of penile implant functions differently and has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Before choosing penile implants, it is essential to understand the surgical procedure, the potential risks, and follow-up care.

Types of penile implants

There are two major types of penile implants:

Inflatable implants: Inflatable devices are the most commonly used penile implants. These implants can be inflated in order to create an erection and can be deflated otherwise. Three-piece inflatable implants comprise a fluid-filled reservoir which is implanted underneath the wall of the abdomen, a pump, a release valve which is positioned within the scrotum, and two inflatable cylinders placed inside the penis. The fluid from the reservoir is pumped into the cylinders so as to achieve an erection. Following this, the valve placed inside the scrotum is released to drain the fluid into the reservoir. The two-piece model functions in a similar manner, but the fluid reservoir is attached to the pump which is implanted in the scrotum.

Semirigid rods: The malleable penile implant involves insertion of a pair of flexible rods inside the erection chambers of the penis. The rods, which consist of an exterior coating of silicone and an interior stainless steel core, is made of interlocking plastic joints. These joints allow the erect or flaccid positioning of the penis. This type of implant creates penile rigidity that merely requires the penis to be lifted up, or bent, into the erect position to attain an erection, or in the downward position for urination. Malleable penile implants can be bent in more than one position to achieve the desired erection.

During surgery

Penile implant surgery is generally performed at a surgery center or hospital. The doctor might administer general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia during the surgery.

A catheter would be inserted into your bladder through your penis to collect urine during surgery. An incision will be made underneath the head of the penis, at the base of the penis or in the lower abdomen. The surgeon will then stretch the spongy tissue present in the penis that generally fills with blood during an erection.

The surgeon will select the appropriate implant and place the implant cylinders within the penis. The sizes of all implants are customized to suit your exact body measurements.

If the doctor is implanting a two-piece inflatable device, a pump and valve are positioned inside the scrotum. For a three-piece device, the doctor will implant a fluid reservoir beneath the wall of the abdomen through an internal incision.

Penile implant surgery normally takes 45 minutes to an hour.

After surgery

Following the penile implant surgery, medications will be administered for pain relief. Mild pain is likely to persist for a few weeks. You might also have to take antibiotics to avoid infection for one week.

Please do not engage in strenuous physical activity and sexual activity for some weeks after surgery. After four to six weeks, your doctor might recommend completely inflating and deflating inflatable penile implants twice a day so that you can practice how to use them and stretch the region surrounding the cylinders.

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