How do penile implants work?

Table of Contents

  1. Who is a candidate for penile implants?
  2. Types of implants
  3. What is sex using an implant like?
  4. What to expect from surgery
  5. Recovering from implant surgery
  6. Outlook

Who is a candidate






Penile implant surgery is a procedure that helps men with erectile dysfunction that has not responded to other types of treatments.

Penile implant surgery involves placing a prosthetic device inside the penis and scrotum. This device helps the man achieve an erection and regain sexual function.

In this article, we examine the types of penile implants available and how they work. We also take a look at what a man can expect from having penile implant surgery.

Who is a candidate for penile implants?

Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) caused by a specific medical problem are the best candidates for this type of procedure.

However, in most cases, doctors try simpler and less invasive treatments first. If these treatments are not successful, men with ED may consider penile implant surgery.

Types of implants

Surgeons in an operating theatre working on a penile implantThere are three main types of penile implants that may be offered to men with erectile dysfunction.

There are several different types of penile implants available. The type that is used will depend on the needs and preferences of the man.

There are several factors that the man and his doctor will need to consider before deciding which implant will be the most suitable, including:

body size and type

the ages of the man and his partner

size of the penis, glans, and scrotum

any history of previous abdominal or pelvic surgery

the presence of colostomy

a history of kidney transplant

whether or not the penis is circumcised

overall health and well-being

life expectancy

There are three main types of penile implants.

Three-piece inflatable pump

The three-piece inflatable pump involves placing two cylinders in the penis, an inflatable pump in the scrotum, and a fluid-filled container in the abdomen. All of these components are connected by special tubing.

Squeezing the pump in the scrotum causes fluid to moves from the container into the cylinders, creating an erection. When the release valve is squeezed, fluid moves out of the cylinder and back into the container, making the penis flaccid.

When inflated, a three-piece inflatable pump implant acts and feels like a natural erection. The implant also feels natural and comfortable when flaccid.

Two-piece inflatable

This type of implant is similar to the three-piece inflatable device and works in the same way. However, instead of a separate fluid-filled container, the fluid is kept within the pump in the scrotum.

However, the two-piece inflatable device is not as rigid as the three-piece implant.

Semi-rigid or malleable rods

This type of penile implant involves a surgeon implanting two flexible rods into the penis. The implants never change in size or stiffness and maintain a semi-rigid state. They can, however, be set in different positions easily.

The implants are usually bent downward but can be straightened into an upward position when needed for sexual intercourse.

Even though they are very easy to use, many men find their constant rigid state to be uncomfortable.

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What is sex using an implant like?

When the implant is inflated or moved into position, it has a similar feel to a man’s regular erection, both in girth and stiffness.

Some men report that the implant does not make their erection last as long as usual, although some newer implants have addressed this issue.

Another difference is that implants do not affect the head of the penis, meaning that it does not become hard.

Penile implants do not affect the way that sexual intercourse feels; neither do they affect a man’s ability to have an orgasm or ejaculate.

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