What Happens During the Procedure?
The surgery may be performed using spinal anesthesia or general anesthesia.
Prior to surgery, the area is shaved. A catheter is placed to collect urine, and an intravenous line (IV) for antibiotics or other medications.
The surgeon makes an incision in your lower abdomen, the base of your penis, or just below the head of your penis.
Then the tissue in the penis, which is normally filled with blood during an erection, is stretched. The two inflatable cylinders are then placed inside your penis.
If you’ve chosen a two-piece inflatable device, the saline reservoir, valve, and pump are placed inside your scrotum. With a three-piece device, the pump goes in your scrotum, and the reservoir is inserted under the abdominal wall.
Finally, your surgeon closes the incisions. The procedure may take 20 minutes to an hour. It’s usually done on an outpatient basis.
What’s Recovery Like?
After surgery, you’ll be given instructions on how to take care of the surgical site and how to use the pump.
You may need pain relievers for a few days or weeks. Your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics to cut down on the chances of infection.
You may be able to return to work within a few days, but it may take several weeks to fully recover. You should be able to resume sexual activity in about four to six weeks.
How Effective is the Surgery?
About 90 to 95 percent of inflatable penile implant surgeries are considered successful. That is, they result in erections suitable for intercourse. Among men who have had the surgery, 80 to 90 percent report satisfaction.
Penile implants mimic a natural erection so you can have intercourse. They don’t help the head of the penis to get hard, nor do they affect sensation or orgasm.
As with any type of surgery, there’s a risk of infection, bleeding, and formation of scar tissue following the procedure. Rarely, mechanical failures, erosion, or adhesion require surgery to repair or remove the implant.