The treatment options for patients with erectile dysfunction (ED) are:
- Oral treatment (pills).
- Vacuum erection mechanism or penile injections.
- Penile prostheses.
Penile prostheses are the third and last line of treatment for patients with ED who don’t respond to oral treatment like Viagra, Cialis or Levitra, nor penile injections or vacuum erection mechanisms. Patients who don’t like or have the treatments mentioned above contraindicated could be candidates for penile prosthesis implants too.
A penile implant is a device that is placed in your body and is designed to help you get and maintain an erection. Following the outpatient routine or a one night hospital stay procedure, a four to eight week recovery period is necessary before you can use the implant. The penile prostheses gives men with men with ED a satisfactory erection that makes it possible to experience the joy of sex again.
There are three kinds of penile prostheses:
It has a flexible rod implant that produces a permanently firm penis.
- Hydraulic (2 elements).
Inflatable implant (fluid-filled device) with a pair of cylinders which are implanted inside the penis, and a pump implanted into the scrotum. Squeezing and releasing the pump moves fluid to the cylinders, creating an erection. Deflating the device is a simple one-step process (bending the penis down).
- Hydraulic (3 elements).
Inflatable implant with a pair of cylinders which are implanted inside the penis, a reservoir that is implanted beside bladder or behind of abdominal muscles and a pump implanted into the scrotum. Squeezing and releasing the pump moves a larger amount of fluid to the cylinders, creating an erection. This produces a controlled, more natural erection, and the best discreet/aesthetic results. Deflating the device is a simple press in the side face of the top of the pump.
Patient satisfaction rates.
Patient satisfaction rates of 98% have been demonstrated for the penile implants in published journal articles.
Mechanical reliability rates.
97.5% after five years of usage.
When implanted, the penile prostheses are not visibly noticeable. The penis appears relaxed and normal when flaccid, especially with the 3 elements inflatable prostheses.
- Can I have an orgasm with a penile implant?
You should be able to have an orgasm with a penile implant if you were able to have one before your procedure.
- What is the recovery time?
Each individual is different and its recovery will be different as well. Typical recovery is between 4 and 8 weeks.
- Will I lose any length after getting a penile implant?
Each penile implant is custom-fitted to your anatomy. Depending on your medical history, it may not be unusual to lose 1-2 cm. But this condition is not inherent to the prosthesis implant.
- Will anyone notice that I have an implant?
Since the implant is completely placed inside your body, no one will see the implant. In fact, no one will know unless you tell them.
- Will I be able to have spontaneous erections with a penile implant?
If you are still able to have erections on your own which are satisfactory for intercourse, you should consider very carefully whether or not an implant is right for you. However, if you cannot have erections, or if they are not satisfactory for intercourse, then an implant will be able to provide you with a more “instant” erection compared to pills or vacuum devices.
- How do malleable and the hydraulic penile prostheses differ?
Both implants provide you with the capability to have an erection that is sufficient for intercourse. The main difference is that the malleable penile implant consists of two soft pliable rods that are placed in two chambers of the penis shaft known as the corpora cavernosa. There are no further parts to this implant. To have an erection, you only need to hold the penis and move it into the desired position. When you are finished, you return the penis to the previous position. With the hydraulic penile implant, you inflate the cylinders by pressing the pump bulb in the scrotum. You can control the firmness by pumping until you are satisfied with the erection, especially with de 3 elements hydraulic prosthesis.
- Are there risks associated with the penile implant?
Penile implants are surgical solutions requiring a healing period that have risks associated with surgery such as pain, anesthesia reactions, repeat surgery due to infections, or mechanical problems with the device. The implant eliminates the possibility of a natural erection. Fortunately complications like infection only happen in 1.5% of the patients.
This treatment is prescribed by your physician. Discuss the treatment options with Dr. Ortiz to understand the risks and benefits of the various options to determine if a penile implant is right for you.