Inflatable Penile Prosthesis PlacementWith this procedure, a device is implanted into the penis. This device can produce an erection-like state. It enables a man to have sexual intercourse.

Reasons for Procedure

A penile prosthesis insertion is for men wanting to obtain an erection, including those who have:

  • Not responded to other treatment options (eg, pills, suppositories, vacuum devices, injections)
  • Certain diseases (eg, diabetes , vascular disease)
  • Physical injuries (eg, spinal cord injury)
  • Certain surgeries that have made getting an erection impossible

This procedure has a success rate of about 90%-95% five years after insertion. Most men rate the erection as shorter than their natural one. A penile prosthesis does not change the sensation on the skin of the penis or the ability to reach orgasm or ejaculate.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have penile prosthesis insertion, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Erosion (tissue around the implant may break down)
  • Mechanical failure

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking , alcoholism
  • Poor overall health
  • Poor nutrition
  • Use of certain drugs
  • Diabetes
  • Bladder disease requiring a catheter
  • Infection
  • Bleeding disorders

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure, your doctor will:

  • Obtain a complete medical, surgical, and sexual history
  • Do a physical exam
  • Do tests (eg, blood and urine tests, psychological tests) to rule out problems that might be treated with medicines

Leading up to the procedure:

  • Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
    • Anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, aspirin )
    • Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your surgery, unless told otherwise by your doctor.

There are two types of anesthesia that your doctor may use:

  • General anesthesia —blocks pain and keeps you asleep through the surgery; given through an IV in your hand or arm
  • Spinal anesthesia —numbs the area from the chest down to the legs; given as an injection in your back

Description of the Procedure

To prevent infection, your genital area will be cleaned. You will receive antibiotics about one hour before surgery. A catheter (thin tube) will be inserted into the penis to ensure that the bladder remains fully drained of urine.

There are two types of implants available:

  • Inflatable (hydraulic) implant—consists of two cylinders, a pump, tubing, and may have a reservoir
  • Malleable implant—consists of two semi-rigid rods inserted into the penis
Inflatable Implant

There are two types of inflatable implants: two-piece and three-piece. For both types, the doctor will make a small incision at the top of the scrotum. The incision will be made so that sutures are under the skin and can be absorbed.

With the two-piece implant, the cylinders will be inserted into the penis. A pump (with fluid) will be inserted into the scrotum. This type of implant is simpler to insert. It takes up more space in the penis, leaving less room to expand.

With the three-piece implant, the cylinder will be inserted into the penis. The pump will be inserted into the scrotum. Lastly, the fluid that is used for inflation will be inserted into a reservoir in the abdomen.

Malleable Implant

The doctor will make an incision just behind the head or near the base of the penis. An opening will be made into each of the two long tubes of spongy tissue inside the penis. The doctor will insert one rod into each tube. Lastly, the doctor will close the incisions so that no sutures will be needed.

How Long Will It Take?

Inflatable implant: 1-2 hours
Malleable implant: 30-60 minutes

Will It Hurt?

You will have pain for about four weeks. Ask your doctor about medicine for pain.

Average Hospital Stay

This procedure is most commonly done in a hospital. You may need to stay one night or longer if you have problems. In some cases, it may be possible to leave the hospital on the same day as the procedure. Talk to your doctor to find out if this is an option for you.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital

While you are recovering at the hospital, your doctor will:

  • Have the urine catheter removed
  • Examine you
  • Give you antibiotics and pain medicines
At Home

When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:

  • Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions .
  • Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
  • Take antibiotics as directed.
  • For pain relief, use:
    • Over-the-counter medicines (eg, acetaminophen ) or those your doctor prescribes
    • Warm compress
  • Wear loose-fitting underwear while you recover.
  • Avoid sexual activity for at least six weeks.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for six weeks.
  • Ask your doctor when you can return to work. You may need to wait 10 days.
  • Do not drive until instructed by your doctor.

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or a large amount of fluid leaking from the surgical area
  • Increased swelling in your scrotum or penis
  • Blood in your urine
  • Signs of infection (eg, fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, dizziness, general ill feeling)
  • New symptoms (eg, nausea, vomiting, constipation , abdominal swelling)
  • Pain or difficulty with urination
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain

In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.