Erectile dysfunction, which is referred to as impotency, may occur for many reasons. Erectile dysfunction, which can be defined as repetitive inadequate penile erection during sexual intercourse, can be treated using different methods. Penile implants are accepted as the last step treatment option for erectile dysfunction problems.
Patients who consult a doctor for erectile dysfunction will undergo detailed physical examinations, laboratory tests, penile Doppler ultrasound, angiography, and penile cavernosometry. Then, a treatment protocol is designed based on these results. The first treatment option is PDE5 inhibitors. Additionally, some simple surgical treatments, medications, and supporting practices are used. Erectile dysfunction problems that do not respond to these treatments will require penile implant surgery as an option.
What is a Penile Implant?
A penile implant placed inside the penis through a surgical operation is a medical material. Malleable or inflatable cylinders are placed instead of spongy penis tissue, called the corpus cavernosum, to eliminate erectile dysfunction problems. This material is hidden inside the body and does not cause any appearance changes.
Penile Implant Types
Penile or urologic implant types are divided into two groups:
- Malleable implants: These are continuously hard implants consisting of two pieces. They do not provide natural rigidity.
- Inflatable implants: These urologic implants can be defined as fluid-filled devices consisting of two or three pieces.
Two-piece penile implants have a scrotal pump and body cylinders. The negative aspect of this implant is its inability to achieve complete tumescence and detumesence. This is known as a semi-rigid penile implant.
The three-piece penile implant has body cylinders, a scrotal pump, and an abdominal fluid chamber. These implants have transverse or both transverse and longitudinal expanding types. By squeezing the pump a few times during sexual intercourse, the fluid in the abdominal chamber fills the cylinder, causing it to inflate. Thus, the penis becomes more rigid. The fluid goes back inside the chamber with the pump. A three-piece urologic implant gives the closest results to a natural erection. Therefore, this implant is the preferred option.
How is Penile Implant Surgery Performed?
Urine flow is controlled by placing a catheter inside the bladder before the operation. A penile implant is put in by making small incisions under the tip of the penis and lower abdomen. A urologist and andrologist then place a suitable cylinder size inside the corpus cavernosum. Thus, the penile implant will be filled for rigid erection, and erectile dysfunction is eliminated.
The operation duration is approximately 60 minutes, and patients are subsequently hospitalized for 1 or 2 days depending on their rate of recovery.
What are the Advantages of Penile Implants?
The advantages of penile implants are as follows:
- Men with erectile dysfunction can regain a healthy sexual life following penile implant surgery.
- Men can have sexual relationships anytime they want and sustain their erection with a penile implant.
- It is easy to adjust implant use, and partners can be satisfied.
- It is possible to remove or replace the implant with another urologic implant if the individual is dissatisfied.
Who is Not Suitable for Penile Implants?
Penile implant surgery is suitable for the treatment of erectile dysfunction that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment options.
The following patient group is not suitable for urologic implants:
- Patients with urinary tract infections,
- Patients with lung infections,
- Patients with uncontrolled diabetes.
Additionally, patients must share their medical history since certain chronic diseases, infections, and routine medications might prevent the success of a penile implant operation.
Is the Penile Implant Risky?
Penile implant surgery is accompanied by the risks associated with all surgical operations. These risks are as follows:
- Infection risk: Each patient, especially patients with spine injury and diabetes, has an infection risk. The risk is diminished by the foundation of the antibiotic-covered prosthesis upto 2%.
- Skin adhesion or erosion: Rarely, skin adhesion can occur with a penile implant. Or, the implant might erode from the skin.
- Implant-related problems: This is not common for state-of-the-art penile implants. However, there is always a malfunction risk. It is possible to remove, repair, or change the penile implant with surgical intervention if the implant breaks.
Getting an experienced surgeon who works in a well-equipped hospital to perform penile implant surgery is the most important factor in decreasing the risk level.
Penile Implant Prices
Penile implants are preferred by erectile dysfunction patients who did not respond to other treatment options, and it is a suitable option for all men suffering from erectile dysfunction. Penile implant prices depend on the experience of the doctor and team, the material quality, and the clinic where the operation is performed. It is important to remember that professional services from an expert and reliable doctor who performs surgery in a hygienic and well-equipped hospital are the key factors for good results.