Surgical Treatments For ED: Penile Implants

A penile prosthesis is one of the main surgical treatment options for erectile dysfunction. There are two general types of prosthetic implants: 1) malleable (bendable) or 2) inflatable. Learn about each type and whether either is a good treatment option for you.

Malleable Prosthetic Implants

Malleable implants are the simplest type of penile prosthetic implant. They consist of a pair of bendable rogs surgically implanted within the erection chambers of the penis. After installed, the penis is always semi-rigid, and simply needs to be adjusted into the erect position to be suitable for sex.

This type of implant is suitable for men with spinal cord injuries and/or limited hand strength. However, the majority of men who pursue invasive treatments for ED opt for the inflatable prosethetic.

Inflatable Penile Prosthesis

There are two common types of inflatable prostheses, 2-piece and 3-piece.

The 3-piece inflatable prothesis consists of 1) two inflatable cylinders 2) a saline reservoir, and 3) a seperate pump for the saline reservoir. The two inflatable cylinders are inserted into the penis and connected by tubing to the saline reservoir, which is installed under the rectus muscles in the lower abdomen. The pump is connected to the saline reservoir and is installed between the testicles in the scrotal sac.

The 2-piece inflatable prosthesis is largely the same, except the saline reservoir is smaller and combined with the pump. Instead of the saline reservoir being housed in the abdomen, it now sits with in the scrotum as well. The surgery for the 2-piece inflatable is shorter, but the smaller reservoir may not result in adequate erections for some men.

After the prosthesis is installed, a man can press on the pump to inflate the prosthesis. The pump transfers saline from the reservoir into the inflatable cylinders that were installed in the penis. Pressing on a deflation valve returns the fluid into the reservoir, deflating the penis and returning it into a flaccid state.

Are implants a good treatment for ED?

In terms of the results, many men are satisfied with the quality of erection after getting a penile implant installed. However, most men say that the erections don't last as long as their normal erections, although technology in this area is improving all the time, and newer models may be more effective.

The reasons for trying to avoid penile implants as a treatment option — or any surgical ED intervention for that matter — doesn't necessarily have to do with the results of the treatment, but rather

These treatments are invasive. Undergoing this type of surgery could potentially involve complications such as uncontrolled bleeding, potentially requiring re-operation, infection, scar tissue formation, erosion requiring removal, or mechanical failure.

If you are interested in a natural, noninvasive treatment for ED, learn more about the acoustic wave therapy treatments we provide at Multnomah Medical Clinic.

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