posted by admin on Mar 30

Penile implants, or prostheses, are available in several varieties; the simplest are bendable, and the more complicated ones are inflatable or mechanical. The implants are not a new idea, but they have improved considerably since they were first introduced about twenty years ago. The bendable prostheses, for example, were exactly the same size all the time—whether or not the penis was in the erect position—which, as you can imagine, often proved awkward in social settings. Earlier models of the inflatable prostheses that did allow for a “non-erect” size sometimes failed to work and needed to be replaced.

If these relatively clumsy but functional early designs were the prosthetic equivalent of the typewriter, then the latest models are more like a Macintosh computer—sleek, sophisticated and user-friendly They are more reliable, easier for surgeons to implant, and are designed to look more natural in the “non-erect” phase—even the bendable prostheses, which are more malleable than before. And they can restore sexual function entirely to normal.

Some of the more complicated devices involve a pump and a reservoir for fluid, housed in the abdomen or scrotum, and inflatable chambers, which are placed in the corpora cavernosa. (Fluid is pumped into the penis to create an erection and is then held there by a valve. Afterward, the valve is released, and the fluid returns to the reservoir.)

Penile prostheses used to be offered routinely to most impotent men. Now, with other good treatments available, many urologists have come to regard penile prostheses as a last resort because they do involve surgery—and thus, they carry the risk of complications. These can include infection, scarring, damage within the corpora cavernosa, or a problem with any part of the prosthesis. However, these side effects are relatively rare. Most men who have penile prostheses are satisfied with the result and have a normal sex life.

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