If drug treatments, injections, and other non-surgical therapies are not successful in resolving erectile dysfunction (ED), and psychological causes are not suspected, you and your physician may consider penile implant surgery. Studies show high satisfaction with this treatment option among patients and their partners.
A penile implant (also called a penile prosthesis) is concealed entirely within the body, and requires some degree of manipulation before and after intercourse to make the penis erect or flaccid. There are different types of implants. In choosing a penile implant, considerations include your medical condition, lifestyle, personal preference, and cost. Types of penile implants used to treat ED include:
- Non-inflatable implants or prosthesis. This type of implant consists of a pair of cylinders that are placed into the penis and can be positioned up for intercourse or down for regular lifestyle activities.
- Two-piece inflatable implant or prosthesis. This type of implant consists of a pair of cylinders implanted into the penis and a single pump bulb implanted into the scrotum. You simply squeeze the pump to inflate it and bend the penis to deflate it.
- Three-piece inflatable implant or prosthesis. This type provides a natural appearing erection and greater flaccidity than the two-piece or malleable (non-inflatable) implants. This prosthesis consists of a reservoir implanted in the abdomen, a pump placed into the scrotum and a pair of cylinders implanted in the penis.
Surgery to insert a penile implant may be performed as an outpatient procedure. It generally lasts from 30 minutes to more than an hour. The procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia.
Medicare and most commercial insurance providers cover the diagnosis and treatment of ED.