ED Treatments – Penile Implants

So once again, I was reading the comments again where someone asked a question about erectile dysfunction (ED) and penile implants. In an earlier article, I briefly mentioned penile implants but I didn’t really have the space to get into the topic as much as I would have liked. So, to get this article started, it’s important for you to know there are different types of implants and depending on the severity of your cancer, you should have a discussion with your doctor on which type of implant is right for you. Let’s get started.

Weighing the options

Most men are aware of the various types of help for ED. There are various pills, injections, and vacuum pumps. The pills do not work with everyone, many men do not like to inject anything into their penis. Men who are looking for a more permanent solution to this issue are opting for penile implants. Currently, there are two main types of implant: Inflatable and the Semi-ridged rod.

When making a choice, please keep in mind there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Please talk to your doctor about which option is the best for you.

Inflatable implants

There is a 2-piece and a 3-piece model for inflatable implants. Typically, this implant is made of 2 inflatable cylinders in the penis, a small pump located in the scrotum, and a fluid-filled sac located in your lower abdomen. Basically, you lightly squeeze the pump which moves the fluid into the 2 cylinders that give you an erection. By pressing on the release value, the fluid goes back to the sac and the erection goes away. Men report the inflatable implant feels the most natural but it’s the most expensive, requires the most surgery, and there is the possibility of mechanical problems.1

Additionally, the inflatable implant also looks the most natural when erect and flaccid. Plus, the inflatable models also can expand the girth of the penis and in a few cases, make the penis slightly longer.

Semi-ridged rods

This type of implant is a bendable rod that is usually made of braided stainless steel or plastic coated with silicone. When you’re ready to have sex, the rod is simply bent to an erect position and when sex is over, it is bent back down.

Many men choose the semi-ridged rod because it is cheaper, less invasive surgery, and it’s easier to use. One needs to keep in mind because the penis is always “erect,” it is harder to hide under your clothes.1

What does the research say?

A few studies looked at the satisfaction rates of these devices. One study found very high rates of satisfaction, with 89% of the men saying the could have sex and 81% saying there were happy with the results2. Another study found the men reported no major difference between the inflatable vs semi-ridged implant, where their partners reported greater sexual satisfaction with the inflatable implant2.

Ask your doctor and decide

As I close this article, it’s important to make 2 quick points. First, some men out there may not know getting an implant is an option because they were not told. Please be sure to ask your doctor to get more information about these implants. Secondly, which more of a personal decision but, many men are just tired of surgery and will make the choice not to get an implant2. For some men, that is a very wise choice. Thank you for reading.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.
View References
  1. Penile Implants. Mayo Clinic Staff. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/penile-implants/about/pac-20384916. Accessed 7/29/18.
  2. Treating erectile dysfunction with penile implants. https://www.harvardprostateknowledge.org/treating-erectile-dysfunction-with-penile-implants. Accessed 7/29/18.

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