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Penile Prosthesis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 6, 2023.

What do I need to know about a penile prosthesis?

A penile prosthesis is a device that is implanted in the penis. A penile prosthesis makes it possible to have and maintain an erection. It is used when other treatments for erectile dysfunction have failed.

What are the 2 types of penile prosthesis?

Ask your healthcare provider for more information about the following implants:

  • An inflatable implant is a fluid-filled device that is easily hidden and may feel more natural. An inflatable implant has a pump, container, and reservoir. You squeeze the pump, which is located in your scrotum, and fluid moves into the container. When the container fills with fluid, your penis becomes erect. To deflate the implant, you press the valve or release bar of the pump, and the fluid returns to the reservoir. Several models of inflatable implants are available.
  • A semi-rigid rod implant is bendable and may be controlled for an erection. A semi-rigid implant is always ready and may be easier to use than other penile implants. You can bend your rod implant down for urination or when not having sex.

How do I prepare for a penile prosthesis implantation?

Your surgeon will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. Arrange for someone to drive you home when you are discharged.

What will happen during a penile prosthesis implantation?

  • You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may instead be given regional or local anesthesia to numb the surgery area. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery, but you should not feel any pain.
  • Your surgeon will make an incision in your penis and place the implant into the shaft of your penis. If you have an inflatable implant, the pump will be placed inside your scrotum and attached to the implant. A drain may be placed to remove extra blood or fluid from your surgery area. The incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage. You may need to wait up to 6 weeks after surgery before you use the penile prosthesis.

What should I expect after a penile prosthesis implantation?

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. You may have a drain to remove extra fluid or blood from your surgery area. This helps prevent infection. The drain will be removed as soon as possible. You may also have a Foley catheter to drain your urine. It will also be removed as soon as possible. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You may have bruising and swelling for a few weeks after surgery.

What are the risks of a penile prosthesis?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your prostate or bladder may be damaged during surgery. Your penis may not look the way you thought it would. You may develop scar tissue. You may have trouble urinating or have swelling or numbness in your penis. The implant may move out of place or not work properly. You may still have problems having an erection.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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