Penile Implants

18 May

Penile Implants An implantable penile prosthesis (artificial device) is another treatment option that has improved in design in recent years. All penile implants place prosthetic tubes inside the penis to mimic the engorgement process and create an erection. Since the 1950s, thousands of men have been treated suc- cessfully with implants. These devices work best for men who can ejaculate and have orgasms even if they cannot achieve erections.

Implants are effective in treating most types of erectile dysfunction. They have a 90 percent success rate when both partners are informed about how they work and what their limitations are. Men with penile implants do not require intensive follow-up treatment after implantation, and no medications or injections are required. In addition, once the implant is in place and functioning, there are no additional costs. The newer prostheses are very reliable, with a chance of mechanical failure in the range of only 2 to 4 percent per year.

One drawback of the implantable penile prostheses is that their placement per- manently changes the internal structure of the penis. If the prosthesis is ever removed, normal erections do not return. There is also a small (3 to 5 percent) chance of infection that could require removal of the implant. Some men develop

surgical or anesthetic complications or experience numbness at the head of the penis and uncomfortable intercourse. Also, because the erection is not caused by increased blood flow to the penis, the head of the penis is not part of the erection, and this softness may bother some men.

There are three types of penile prostheses currently available:

•  Inflatable penile  prostheses are  the  most  natural-feeling of  the  penile implants, because the penis can be either erect or flaccid. These two-piece or three-piece implants are made of soft tubes of silicone or similar material. The tubes are filled with a sterile liquid that comes from a small reservoir placed either under the muscles of the abdomen (three-piece implant) or in the scro- tum (two-piece implant). A tiny pump in the scrotum is used to move the fluid from the reservoir to the tubes. The more fluid that is pumped into the tubes, the firmer and larger the erection. When the erection is no longer desired, the pump is deactivated and the fluid returns to the reservoir, leaving the penis soft again. The major advantage of an inflatable penile implant is that it pro- vides a more natural erection that the user can control. One major disadvan- tage is that this type of device is slightly more complicated to implant and, because it has more mechanical parts, there is an increased risk of leaks, twist- ing of the tubes, or mechanical failure.

•  Self-contained inflatable implants use paired silicone cylinders that have a pump at the tip of the prosthesis. A reservoir within the shaft of the device allows fluid to transfer in such a way that the cylinder becomes firm. The advantage of this device is that surgery is slightly simpler than that for a two- or three-piece inflatable prosthesis. The major disadvantage is that the inflat- able portion does not significantly increase the girth of the penis. The penis is also not as soft or as easily concealed when deflated.

Penile Implants

Penile Implants

•  Semirigid prostheses are made from silicone-covered bendable metal rods.

They allow the penis to be rigid enough for penetration but flexible enough to be concealed in a curved position. They are the simplest and least expensive of all implants and have the least chance of mechanical failure. The major problem with semirigid implants is that the penis is always semierect. Even with bendable implants, concealment can be a problem with certain types of clothing. Another disadvantage is that the erection depends on the size and rigidity of the prosthesis. This type of prosthesis is not routinely used.

Random Posts

Comments are closed.