Penile Implants

Penile implants are a surgical treatment option for erectile dysfunction. These procedures involve the insertion of malleable or inflatable rods into the penis. Penile implants may be recommended for patients when other less invasive treatment options for erectile dysfunction have not been successful.

Penile implants are performed as outpatient surgical procedures. The implants are inserted through an incision made in the penis, lower abdomen or scrotum. A thin flexible tube (catheter) is inserted briefly up the urethra and into the bladder to drain urine. Patients will typically remain in the hospital for one to two days following their surgery. A urinary catheter will be used for one day and antibiotics will be prescribed for two weeks after surgery to prevent infection.

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Options for Implants

There are three forms of penile implants: semi-rigid prostheses, inflatable prostheses and self-contained prostheses.

Semi-rigid prostheses involve the surgical implantation of a silicon-covered flexible metal rod that provides rigidity for intercourse. These implants bend into different positions (outward for sex or back toward the body to be concealed under clothing).

Inflatable penile prostheses involve the surgical implantation of two soft silicone or plastic tubes into the penis, a small reservoir in the abdomen and a small pump in the scrotum. A patient produces an erection with this prosthesis by squeezing the pump in the scrotum to move sterile liquid from the reservoir in the abdomen into the tubes. A valve moves fluid back to the reservoir to stop the erection.

Self-contained inflatable implants consist of a pair of inflatable tubes inserted into the penis with a pump attached to the end of the implant and a reservoir located in the shaft of the penis.

After Treatment

Men are advised to not wear tight underwear or clothing until their surgical incision has healed. For those with inflatable implants, tight clothing should be avoided for up to six weeks to avoid pushing the saline reservoir out of position. Strenuous physical activity and sex can resume one month after the surgery.

Penile implants are typically very successful surgical procedures. Physicians at the Center for Men’s Health at TUCC perform over 50 of these procedures each year, placing them in the top 5 percent of penile implant surgeons nationally.

Click here for more information on penile implants as well as stories from actual patients and couples.

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Resources & Events

The Transurethral Suprapubic endo-Cystostomy (T-SPcC): A Novel Suprapubic Catheter Insertion Device

TUCC physician Lawrence Karsh, M.D., served as a lead investigator in this clinical trial which investigated the first human experience with the Transurethral Suprapubic endo-Cystostomy (T-SPeC®) device, a novel disposable device used for introducing a suprapubic catheter via a retrourethral (inside-to-out) approach similar to the Lowsley technique. The results of this investigation were published in

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