What is a Penile Implant?
An inflatable penile prosthesis (IPP) is a surgical treatment option for erectile dysfunction and sometimes for Peyronie’s Disease. Dr. Cheng and Dr. Hotaling are our urologists who are fellowship-trained in penile implant surgery. An IPP is a permanent solution, allowing a man to regain full sexual function. Penile implants have the highest patient and partner satisfaction rates out of all of our treatment options for ED.
The IPP Process
The IPP is inserted during a surgical procedure that takes approximately 60-90 minutes and can often be done as a day surgery at RMA’s ambulatory surgery center. The implant is made up of a pair of cylinders that are placed inside the penis, a pump inside the scrotum next to the testicles, and a reservoir that is filled with saline in the lower abdomen. Squeezing the pump in the scrotum moves the saline from the reservoir into the cylinders, which creates a rigid and very natural-feeling erection that lasts as long as you want it to. There is a button on the pump for deflation, which allows the penis to return to a flaccid state.
The IPP surgery does have some risks. There is a 1-2% risk of infection, which would require removal and replacement of the implant. There is also a risk of mechanical failure; penile implants generally last for 10 to 15 years, but it can depend on how often it is used.
Penile Implant FAQs
Every individual is different and heals at a different rate, so recovery times vary from patient to patient. In general, most patients have minimal pain 1-2 weeks after surgery. Patients can start to use the implant about 6 weeks after surgery.
Restrictions include avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for 4 weeks. You must refrain from sexual activity (using the implant) for 6 weeks.
No. We use dissolvable sutures that do not need to be removed.
Yes, IPP surgery is usually an outpatient procedure in our ambulatory surgery center, but some patients with medical problems will need to have the surgery done at Morristown Medical Center and stay in the hospital overnight.
Yes, bruising and swelling are normal, as with any surgery. Post-operative pain medication will be prescribed and patients can use an ice pack to help with the swelling.
You will be taught how to use your device at your two-week follow-up appointment in the clinic. At this point, you will start inflating the device every day as a form of penile “physical therapy,” which helps optimize the device. You can start using the device and resuming sexual activity 6 weeks after surgery.
Once you have healed, the implant is fully concealed in the body and is completely undetectable. No one will know it is there unless you tell them.
The penile implant will typically provide the same length and girth of the patient’s prior natural erection. The implant cannot make the penis any longer than its natural size. The size of the device is determined during the surgical procedure based on the length of the penis. Some men do report that their implants are not as long as their natural erections, but this is often due to gradual shortening of the penis prior to surgery, which can occur with long-standing erectile dysfunction.
After surgery, a man’s erection will look and feel very natural and the implant does not alter penile sensation or the ability to climax. The effect of the implant is to replace the erectile tissue that no longer functions. The implant, when inflated, recreates the rigidity of a natural erection, which lasts for as long as you and your partner want. The result is a satisfaction rate of more than 95% of both patients and their partners!
No, urination is not affected by the implant because the urethra is separate from the location of the implanted cylinders.
Most private insurance plans cover the cost of penile implant surgery.