Everything you need to know about penile implant
Earlier, erectile dysfunction (ED) was only associated with feelings of guilt or shame. It was regarded as a sign of weak masculinity. We have, however, surpassed that stage and now ED is examined as a valid medical condition. Thanks to the constructive treatment modules, ED can be treated effectively similar to other health concerns. A penile implant is a successful and beneficial ED treatment method.
Dr Shalabh Agrawal, one of the best penile implant surgeons in Gurgaon, explores the subject of penile implant surgery in this article. Here is everything to know when considering a penile implant. Read on.
What is a penile implant?
A penile implant is a medical device. It is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. This device allows an ED patient to experience an almost natural erection.
Doctors recommend the use of a new penile implant when other remedial options have failed. Generally, medications are prescribed as the first line of treatment.
Who is a good candidate for penile implant surgery?
Erectile dysfunction is treatable with the use of medicines or a penis pump. Nonetheless, sometimes a man cannot attain a successful erection to have sexual intercourse with these methods.
Doctors indicate penile implant when the above-given methods fail. If a patient is not satisfied with the results of these treatments, he can also choose to opt for surgery.
Besides ED, a penile implant is also used in the treatment of painful erections. You can have an implant surgery if:
- You have irreversible erectile dysfunction
- You do not have a pulmonary or urinary tract infection
- Your diabetes is controlled
What are the different penile implants?
A penile implant is also known as a penile prosthesis. There are majorly two different penile implants used by surgeons.
- Inflatable implants – As its name implies, it is a type of penile implant that can be inflated. This prosthesis can be inflated and deflated as and when required by the patient. It is the most commonly used implants.
- Semirigid rods – A semirigid rod is a type of penile implant that always remains stiff. It is also called a malleable rod. These implants do not change in size and maintain a semi-stiff position.
How does a penile implant work?
Penile implant surgery is indicated to a patient as a last resource. The type of penile implant depends upon the patient’s choice and his medical conditions in the past. Your doctor will assist you in making the right selection.
Working of an inflatable implant:
An inflatable prosthesis is built of two cylinders, a reservoir and a pump. All three parts of this implant are placed in different parts of the body.
The cylinders are surgically placed inside the penis. While the reservior of fluid is inserted under the lower abdomen area. The cylinders are attached to the reservoir through a tube. The pump, however, is implanted under the skin of the scrotal sac between the testicles.
To have an erection, a man only has to press the pump of the implant. As the pump is pressed, the reservoir fluid is transferred to the cylinders inside the penis leading to an erection.
Working of a semirigid rod:
A semirigid rod always maintains its stiffness and size. Once implanted, the rigidity of the penis remains intact. However, this implant can easily help change the position of the penis. It can be bent comfortably due to its half-stiffness.
When a man needs to engage in sexual activity, he can simply bend the penis forward. When he needs to conceal himself, he is required to keep the penis towards his own body.
Is penile implant surgery safe?
Penile implant surgery is a relatively safe procedure. Nonetheless, as with any surgery, there are some risks associated with it.
Risks of a penile implant are:
Infection: The rate of infection in the case of a penile prosthesis is low. However, the chances of infection increase if the patient is diabetic or suffers from a spinal cord injury. Penile implant problems such as an infection are manageable. Infection occurs during the first few weeks post-surgery. Common signs of an infection from the penile implant are fever, a build-up of pus and swelling in the scrotum area.
Penile implant problems: There is a likelihood of implant problems if the prosthesis is broken or does not function properly. If this issue arises, your doctor would remove the broken device and replace it with a new penile implant.
Implant erosion: A penile implant can experience erosion from the inside. The device can stick to the penis and cause skin problems. Internal erosion of the implant is an extremely rare problem.
Other risks of penile implant surgery include:
- Excessive bleeding after surgery
- Formation of scar tissues
- Displacement of implant pump or reservoir
How should I prepare for penile implant surgery?
A penile prosthesis surgery is not a complicated procedure. Before the surgery, you should consider the following to take place:
- Your urologist will help you decide whether the surgery is needed or not. Your doctor will also assist you in selecting the right implant based on your health and choice.
- Your nursing team will conduct basic health checkups and screenings before the procedure. Your medical history will be evaluated for possible complications. You will also be required to take a urological physical exam.
- You should discuss your expectation, risks and fears with your doctor before the surgery. Your surgeon will also brief you about post-operative care.
- You should inform your nursing team about the current medications you would be taking.
- Your doctor will guide you for diet moderations before the procedure.
What should I expect during penile implant surgery?
Your surgeon will offer anesthesia to help reduce pain from the procedure. The surgical site will be prepared by clipping off extra hair to decrease the risk of infection.
The surgeon will make an incision (cut) to implant the device. It could be at the base of the penis, below the head of the penis or in the lower abdomen. Based on the preferred type of penile implant, your surgeon would do the positioning.
Afterward, your surgeon will carefully sew back the incision as the procedure completes.
What happens after a penile implant?
After the procedure is performed, you can expect the following:
- Your surgeon will offer your pain relief medications.
- You may also be given antibiotics to avoid infection post-surgery.
- The nursing staff will perform careful monitoring of your health.
- The recovery period is generally between four to six months after surgery.
- Your doctor will give you specific guidelines to help you resume everyday activities.
- Initially, your doctor may ask you to keep your penis held upward on your lower abdomen. This can help in avoiding the penile implant problems of downward curvature.
Also, read: Premature ejaculation-causes and symptoms
How successful are penile implants?
Penile implant surgery has good success rates. If performed by clinical experts in a hygienic and well-maintained operative theatre, the surgery is effective in 90% of cases.
Most men are able to retain their sexual function and perform better sexually, after an implant.
Is a penile implant noticeable to others?
The type of penile implant is important in knowing if the device will be noticeable. In most cases, the patients only experience small scars from the surgery. Besides scarring, an implant is hardly distinguished.
How long does a penile implant work?
A penile prosthesis can function effectively for up to 10-15 years. The role of the surgeon is very important in making sure that the implant is fixed properly. The risks associated with this procedure can be considered the disadvantages of penile implants. The surgeon should be able to minimise the probability of these risks.
The concluding note
Penile implant surgery is a credible solution to a rather embarrassing condition like erectile dysfunction. A single procedure can last for over a decade. It is also extremely safe if operated with clinical care.