Penile implants are devices placed inside the penis to allow men with erectile dysfunction to get an erection. Penile implants are typically recommended after other treatments for erectile dysfunction fail.
There are two main types of penile implants, semirigid and inflatable. Each type of penile implant works differently and has various pros and cons. The placement of penile implants requires surgery. Before choosing penile implants, make sure you understand what surgery involves, including possible risks, complications and follow up care.
Why is a Penile Implant Done?
For most men, erectile dysfunction can be successfully treated with medications or the use of a penis pump. You might consider penile implants if you aren’t a candidate for other treatments or you can’t get an erection sufficient for sexual activity by using other methods.
Penile implants can also be used to treat severe cases of a condition that causes scarring inside the penis, leading to curved, painful erections. Penile implants aren’t for everyone. Your doctor might caution against penile implants if you have:
- ED that is situational, the result of a relationship conflict or potentially reversible
- An infection, such as pulmonary infection or urinary tract infection
- Diabetes that isn’t well controlled
Keep in mind that while penile implants allow men to get an erection, they don’t increase sexual desire or sensation. Most penile implants also won’t make your penis any larger than it naturally is at the time of surgery. In fact, your erect penis might be slightly shorter than it used to be.
Risks of a Penile Implant
Risks of penile implant surgery include:
- Infection – As with any surgery, infection is possible. You might be at an increased risk of infection if you have a spinal cord injury or diabetes.
- Implant Problems – New penile implant designs are reliable, but in rare cases, the implants might malfunction. Surgery is necessary to remove, repair or replace a broken implant.
- Internal Erosion or Adhesion – In some cases, an implant might stick to the skin inside the penis or wear away the skin from inside the penis. Rarely, an implant breaks through the skin. These problems are sometimes linked to an infection.