What is a penile prosthesis?

Erectile dysfunction used to be considered a mental disorder for which treatment was rare.

Penile prosthesis is a form of surgical treatment for men suffering from erectile dysfunction. Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction often turn to medication as a first option. When medical therapy no longer works, a surgical procedure may be performed to insert a penile prosthesis that allows the man to remain sexually active.

Erectile dysfunction used to be considered a mental disorder and treatment was rare. In the early 1970s, erectile dysfunction surgery began when an inflatable penile prosthesis was developed by two men, FB Scott and WE Bradley. The first surgeries were marred by failure, necessitating more surgeries to correct the problems. Later, urologists discovered that they had the ability to implant semi-rigid rods into the penis and therefore continued research and development.

A penile prosthesis may be used if there is erectile dysfunction that does not respond to other treatments.

Men can now choose between two penile prostheses, an inflatable prosthesis or a malleable prosthesis. Both procedures must be performed surgically. The malleable prosthesis consists of two flexible rods that are inserted into the erectile chambers of the penis. This type of penile prosthesis makes the penis remain semi-rigid at all times. The penis simply has to be adjusted or lifted and placed in place to perform intercourse.

Erectile dysfunction problems can sometimes be remedied with medication.

The inflatable prosthesis is most commonly chosen by men. With this procedure, two cylinders are placed inside the penis. The tubing is then connected to a reservoir of fluid that is implanted under the groin muscles. A pump is placed under the scrotal tissue and connected to the tube.

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This type of penile prosthesis allows a man to feel more natural by being able to control when and where he wants his penis to be erect. By pressing the pump, fluid is transferred to the cylinders inside the penis, producing an erection. When an erect penis is no longer needed, the man presses a different valve on the pump. The fluid is then moved back into the holding chamber, and the penis returns to its normal state.

Reduced blood flow as a result of smoking can cause erectile dysfunction in some men.

There are usually no visible scars on the penis after an implantation procedure is performed, except for a single tiny incision. The ability to orgasm is not affected and ejaculation remains normal. The sensations in and around the penis usually also remain the same. However, once a penile prosthesis has been implanted, the man is no longer able to obtain an erection naturally.

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