A penile implant is a medical device that is surgically implanted into the penis as a treatment option for severe erectile dysfunction. The implant helps men get an erection by providing mechanical support. There are different types of penile implants that work in different ways. Overall, an implant can be an effective permanent solution when medications, injections, or other ED treatments have not worked.
Men with severe ED who have not had success using medications like Viagra or Cialis are often good candidates for a penile implant. An implant may be the right option if you want a permanent solution to ED that doesn’t require pills or injections. Men who have conditions like diabetes or prostate cancer that make other ED treatments less effective can benefit from an implant.
The surgery to insert a penile implant is typically an outpatient procedure taking 1-2 hours. It is either done under general anesthesia where you are asleep, or under local anesthesia with sedation to keep you comfortable. The surgeon will make a small incision to place the device inside the penis and any related components in the scrotum and abdomen. Most men can return home the same day.
Recovery takes 4-6 weeks before the implant can be used. You will need to refrain from strenuous activity during this time to allow proper healing. Most men experience mild discomfort, swelling and bruising after surgery that resolves during recovery.
As with any surgery, an implant procedure does have associated risks like infection, bleeding, and reaction to anesthesia. Specific complications can include:
Choosing an experienced, high-volume implant surgeon can help minimize these risks. Make sure to discuss potential complications thoroughly with your doctor.
Studies show extremely high patient and partner satisfaction with penile implants for treating ED. Around 90% of men report being satisfied after getting an implant. Your ability to have an orgasm should not be affected after getting an implant.
An implant provides spontaneity whenever you want an erection. It allows intimacy and sexual activity to resume without having to plan around taking a pill. While implants do require surgery, for many men the benefits outweigh this risk.
The costs for a penile implant including surgery, the device itself, and related fees are typically anywhere from $15,000-$20,000 depending on the type. Many insurance plans including Medicare do cover a portion of penile implant costs, often up to 80%. Contact your provider to understand your potential out-of-pocket expenses.
Consulting a board-certified urologist experienced in implant procedures is advised. Ask about the number of surgeries they have performed. Expect detailed discussions about your case, treatment options, and instructions for after surgery. With an experienced implant specialist, excellent results and patient satisfaction are likely.