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Penile Implant: Is It Right For You?

UPGUYS > Blog > Sex > Penile Implant: Is It Right for You?
The person who wrote this article

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on July 11, 2022

Did you know that there have been over 39,000 penile implants since the surgery began in the 1970s? Canadians account for about 2% of that number. 

You may not even know what a penile implant is, let alone what the benefits are. Well, that's why you stumbled upon this blog!

If you've been struggling with your sex life and have been suffering from ED for quite some time, you'll definitely want to keep reading.

Ready to learn more? More importantly, are you ready to get your sex life back on track? Read on!

In this blog, you'll learn all about the following:

  • What is a penile implant
  • How a penile implant works
  • Pros and cons of a penile implant
  • How to choose the right type of implant
  • Recovery time after the penile implant surgery
  • Potential side effects of the implant
  • How to decide if it is right for you

What Is a Penile Implant and How Does It Work?

First things first: What is a penile implant?

A penile implant is a device that doctors put into the penis. It is not a new penis. The implant's purpose is to allow men who have erectile dysfunction, or another disease similar to it, to have an erection during sex.

During a penile implant, flexible rods are inserted into the penis. An inflatable device can also be inserted depending on the type of surgery.

So how do those flexible rods and implants cause an erection to happen?

When you want an erection, you can push on the device that connects to it to fill it with saline solution. This pump hides within the scrotum.

When you press the pump, the solution (made out of saline) travels to the device. This inflates it much like what would happen if your blood flowed there to get a normal erection.

When you are satisfied and "done" with the erection, you can deflate the device.

With the rod, you almost always have an erection.

When it comes to penile implants, most men only do this after other erectile dysfunction treatments have failed. However, some men also have this surgery if they have a severe case of a condition that causes scarring inside the penis. This is Peyronie's disease.

It is the last resort surgery to help after you've tried medication and other treatment options. It is important to note that while this surgery can help you get an erection, it does not help improve your sexual desire or libido.

Types of Penile Implants That Are Available

If you are ready for a penile implant, you'll have to decide between the different types of penile implants available. Talking to your doctor will help you decide which is best for you.

Inflatable Implants

An inflatable implant is one that is inflated to cause an erection. This is the most common type. You use a pump and release valve to create the erection and then let the fluid drain back into the reservoir when you are done.

On the day of the surgery, the inflatable implant is filled with salt water, which stays in the reservoir for the rest of the time it is there. This is what causes the erection when pumped.

There are both two-piece inflatable implants and three-piece. A three-piece one is more natural but has more parts, so it can malfunction easier than the two-piece. The two-piece inflatable implant only provides partial flaccidity when deflated, while the three-piece allows for full flaccidity. 

These inflatable implants are more complicated than semirigid rods because there are more parts.

Semirigid Rods

Semirigid rods mean that your penis will almost always be rigid or hard. You can bend it away from the body for concealment when you are not engaging in sexual activity. When you are, it can be brought forward. This makes it a bit easier to maintain the positioning of your penis.

It's important to note that you will have constant pressure with a semirigid rod implant.

Penile Implant Pros and Cons

As with any surgery, there are both pros and cons to having penile implant surgery. Read on to learn more about each.

Pros of Penile Implant Surgery

If you are deciding between getting the surgery and not getting it, there are some pros to consider.

Since you can now have an erection, the satisfaction during sexual activity for both yourself and your partner will increase. You don't have to worry about not being able to get it up anymore. You can say goodbye to those days!

This will also increase your confidence in the bedroom and potentially even in day-to-day activities because you feel more like yourself again.

Not only will you gain confidence and feel better in the bedroom, but a penile implant is one of the more cost-effective treatments for ED over a 10-year period.

Cons of Penile Implant Surgery

While there are pros, there are cons too.

There's always a possibility during any type of surgery that something can go wrong. If that's the case, it may cause pain or further injury. It may also cost you more money than originally thought if something ends up malfunctioning or going wrong during surgery.

You will also have to be put under anesthesia, which can always be a bit risky. You have to weigh whether this is worth it to you.

How To Choose the Right Type of Penile Implant for You

When choosing a type of penile implant for you, it is mostly personal preference. However, there are some reasons that you may opt for one over the other that has to do with medical history.

Always consult your doctor before choosing an option.

What Can You Expect During Surgery?

During the surgery, you will be put under, so you will not feel what is happening.

A catheter might be inserted into your bladder via your penis to collect urine at some point during surgery.

Depending on the surgeon's preference, you will either have an incision below the head of the penis, at the base of the penis or in the lower abdomen. Depending on the type of implant, you may need a second incision. 

After the incision is made, your surgeon will stretch the tissue in the penis that would normally fill with blood when you get an erection. This is where the implant will go.

The surgeon will need to size the implant to fit according to the size of your penis so that it is comfortable for you and works.

Penile implant surgery is relatively quick and usually only takes 45 minutes or an hour - nothing more! It's quick and easy.

Recovery Time and What To Expect After Surgery

When it comes to getting surgery done, you always want to know what you are in for after the fact. So you may be asking how long is my recovery, or what should I know is about to happen after I get the surgery? Here are a few answers.

Recovery Time After Surgery

During recovery after surgery, you will be given pain meds to help ease the pain you may be feeling. Depending on the surgeon, you may also get an antibiotic to take for a week after surgery as well to prevent infections.

While the majority of the pain will last for the first 72 hours, you will most likely be in a mild form of pain for a few weeks. You can take over-the-counter painkillers during this time to reduce the pain.

Your doctor will most likely tell you to wait between 4 to 6 weeks before engaging in sexual activity. However, it depends on your recovery time and how you are doing after the surgery.

Odds are, you'll be in quite a bit of pain and not necessarily want to engage in sexual intercourse during those few weeks after the surgery - so you're not missing out on anything!

After Surgery Expectations

So you know the recovery time, but what can you really expect during this recovery time?

During this time of recovery, you should practice inflating and deflating the inflatable device if that is the type of penile implant you went with. This will also stretch out the areas around the implant to give it some exercise and keep it from getting too stiff.

You can expect to be satisfied with the surgery as well. 95% of men report being satisfied with the surgery after recovery.

How Much Does the Surgery Cost?

The penile implant surgery cost depends on a number of factors. However, if you have an established medical reason for getting the surgery, your insurance provider may cover the entire thing.

This is dependent on a few things:

  • Type of implant
  • Where you live
  • Whether providers are in-network or out of network
  • Your plan's copays and deductibles

If you end up being out of pocket, you should ask your doctor for different payment plans so that you do not break the bank.

Side Effects of a Penile Implant

Just like with all surgeries, there are side effects of a penile implant that you should be aware of. Overall, penile implant surgery is safe. However, there are side effects.

Here is a list of a few of the side effects you may experience:

  • Uncontrollable bleeding at the site of the incision - this is a condition that affects only a few
  • Infection
  • Scar tissue around the area of the surgery
  • Mechanical failure of the implant
  • Erosion of the implant
  • Pump or reservoir displacement
  • Incorrect measurement of the implant which can cause excess pain after the surgery
  • Injury to the bladder or small intestine during the surgery
  • Chronic pain

Infection is the most common side effect of the surgery, which is why most surgeons prescribe antibiotics after the surgery. Malfunction rates are also low, with less than 5% over 5 years post-surgery.

FAQ. About a Penile Implant

You may still have a few questions! Here are some answers to the most popular questions about the surgery to help you make your final decision.

Can I Have an Orgasm After Surgery?

If you could have an orgasm before the surgery, you should be able to after! If this is not the case, consult your doctor.

Will I Lose Length After Surgery?

Since each implant is custom-made, you should not lose any length. It should all be the same after the surgery.

Is It Noticeable?

The implant will not be noticeable to anyone else. Since it is within your body, you cannot see it.

However, with a semirigid rod, your erection may be seen through clothing.

Final Words: How To Decide if You Need a Penile Implant and Key Takeaways

Deciding if you want to go through with penile implant surgery is a personal choice that you should discuss with your doctor.

As discussed in the article, there are many penile implant benefits, like more confidence, getting an erection when you want one, and getting your life back to normal.

With options for the type of penile implant you want, you are able to choose one that fits your needs and wants the best - and you'll rest assured knowing that each one is custom-made to fit your penis.

Now that you know about this type of surgery, you may be curious about other things that have to do with your penis and the bedroom. Check out our blog for more interesting reads and tips that you may find helpful.

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.