Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common male health problem. Some men experience temporary ED, while others cope with the problem on a long-term basis. If you have erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor about your treatment options, which may include penile implants. Penile implants are surgically inserted so that you can achieve an erection whenever the time is right for you. If you are a good candidate for penile implants, talk to your doctor about the different types of implants and ask the question “do penile implants work?”
Are you a good candidate for penile impants?
Penile implants are typically considered as a treatment for erectile dysfunction when more conservative treatment methods have failed. If ED medications and/or a penis pump have failed to work for you, consider implants instead. Implants may also be an option for men with a severe case of Peyronie’s disease, which refers to the abnormal and painful curvature of the penis during an erection.
Types of penile implants
Inflatable penile implant
An inflatable penile implant consists of two cylinders that are surgically inserted into the penis. A pump is placed in the scrotum. Some inflatable penile implants also have a reservoir filled with saline solution that is implanted beneath the groin muscles. The pump is squeezed to fill the cylinders with saline solution and achieve an erection. Following intercourse, the pump is again used to deflate the cylinders.
Non-inflatable penile implant
Non-inflatable penile implants consist of two semi-rigid rods that are implanted in the penis. The penis is lifted to straighten the implant for sexual intercourse, and then bent downward after intercourse. No pump is required for this type of implant.
Advantages and disadvantages of penile implants
A non-inflatable penile implant requires a less complex surgery, and the prosthesis is easy to conceal within clothing. However, the rods will always remain firm. Some men may have difficulty tucking the penis into a comfortable position.
On the other hand, an inflatable penile implant requires a more complex surgery and is irreversible. There is also the possibility of mechanical failure. If the implant is removed, other treatments for ED will not be successful. However, as opposed to the non-inflatable penile implant, this type does not require acclimation to a constant partial erection.
For many men, penile implants are an ideal treatment option for erectile dysfunction. But before you decide to have the surgery, talk to your doctor about what to expect. Ask him how the procedure is to be performed, what you can expect from the recovery period, and what potential risks and side effects are involved. As well, discuss the issue with your partner. Many partners enjoy penile implants, but some may feel dissatisfied by the mechanical process of achieving an erection with an implant. Remember that penile implants do not increase your libido or sexual sensation.
Read more in our Erectile Dysfunction Health Center.