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Penile Implants

What is a Penile Implant?

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.

Types of Penile Implants

Inflatable penile implants consist of inflatable cylinders placed inside the penis, connected to a pump device placed inside the scrotum, and a reservoir for fluid that is placed in the lower abdomen. To achieve an erection, you simply squeeze the pump device a few times to transfer fluid from the reservoir into the cylinders, inflating the penis. When finished, press a deflation valve to return the penis to a flaccid state. These devices provide the most natural, controlled erections.

Popular inflatable implant brands like the Titan Touch use advanced technology to emulate a natural erection. The penis looks and feels relaxed when not inflated. Inflatable implants provide excellent satisfaction rates in studies.

Rod penile implants use flexible rods surgically implanted into the erection chambers of the penis. These maintain the penis in a permanently firm or “ready” state. To have intercourse, you simply move the penis into the desired position. Rod implants are simpler with fewer parts than inflatables. Brands like Genesis are reliable options.

Who is a Candidate for an Implant?

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 Implant Procedure

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.

Risks and Complications

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.

Results and Satisfaction

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.

Costs and Insurance Coverage

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your surgeon will fit the implant to your individual anatomy to optimize size and minimize length loss. Overall length loss is usually minor if present.

The implant is entirely concealed inside the body. No one will know you have one unless you tell them.

Most men cannot have spontaneous erections after an implant since tissue is removed to place the device. An implant provides erections whenever you want rather than spontaneity.

Finding a Specialist

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.

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