If other treatments for ED haven’t worked, penile implants may be an option. Penile implants can be placed inside the penis, allowing men with ED to get an erection.
The most common type of penile implant is inflatable. An inflatable penile prosthesis is inflated to create an erection and deflated the rest of the time.
The majority of men and their partners are satisfied with the device.
How do Penile Implants Work?
Penile implants work by placing two cylinders in the penis along with a very small pump in the scrotum. The pump is about the size of a marble. A reservoir filled with saline is placed in the abdomen. Implanting the inflatable penile prosthesis is a surgical procedure completed through a one-inch incision in the scrotum.
To inflate the penile implant, the user squeezes the pump to fill the cylinders with fluid. This process mimics the blood flow that occurs during a natural erection. Later, a release mechanism allows the saline fluid to flow back into the reservoir.
The inflatable penile prosthesis is undetectable when the penis is not erect.
Penile Implant Candidates
The best candidates for penile implants are those who have tried other ED therapies without success. Initial therapies usually include medications for ED and the use of a penis pump (vacuum constriction device).
Penile implants may also be an option for severe cases of Peyronie’s disease, which can include internal scarring of the penis. Peyronie’s disease can cause painful, curved erections.
Your doctor may recommend treatment other than a penile implant if you have:
- ED that is caused by a relationship conflict
- An infection, including a urinary tract infection
- Diabetes that isn’t well-controlled
Penile Implant Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, penile implant surgery carries certain risks. These include the risk of infection from the surgery, implant problems, or implant erosion and adhesion. It’s important to discuss all the risks and complications of penile implant surgery with your doctor.
Penile Implant FAQ
Will my penis get bigger with a penile implant?
Penis enlargement is not the intended result of a penile implant. In fact, your erect penis may be slightly shorter than it once was.
Does insurance cover penile implants?
Many insurance companies cover the cost of penile implants if medically necessary. Insurance companies determine if it’s medically necessary when other medications and treatments have not worked for you. While Comprehensive Urologic Care cannot guarantee your procedure will be covered by insurance, companies that have covered penile implants in the past include:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- United Healthcare
- Tricare Prime
- Tricare Standard
- Community First
- Secure Horizons