A penile implant is a surgical treatment for erectile dysfunction. Penile implants have been available for nearly 50 years. They are very common. Most importantly, in multiple surveys and studies, of all the different treatments for ED, penile implants have the very highest patient AND spouse satisfaction. Over 90% of men who have a penile implant would recommend the surgery to a friend, and over 90% get their penile implant replaced if it wears out. The surgery takes Dr. Christine about 30 minutes for an uncomplicated case, is outpatient surgery, and is nearly always carried out through a single 1-2 inch incision. His infection rate is about 1%; for penile implant surgery this is where experience really counts. In Dr. Christine’s practice the goal is to have his patients using their implants for sex in 3 weeks after surgery; again, experience leads to short operative times, less pain and swelling, lower infection rates and ability to use the implant much sooner. Medicare always covers penile implant surgery and private insurances nearly always cover. If a patient wishes to pay privately for their implant surgery, arrangements are available. For the many patients who travel to Birmingham to have Dr. Christine perform their surgery, accommodations for family or friends are available.
To achieve an erection, the man compresses the pump in the scrotum using his fingers; this moves sterile water from the reservoir into the cylinders giving a very stiff erection. The time to inflate a penile implant is a minute or less. To deflate, a deflation button on the pump is pressed and the penis gently squeezed to move the fluid back into the reservoir. Below is one of Dr. Christine’s patients who was happy to have a video made of him inflating and deflating his penile implant; this man is over 70 years old and has no difficulty using his implant.
There are different length cylinders available, and at surgery Dr. Christine implants the longest cylinders that will fit into the patient’s penis. We never tell a patient that a penile implant will make his penis longer than it was, but we do tell him that a penile implant, with repeated inflation/deflation, can stop the progressive loss of length caused by ED and can restore some lost length.
Complex penile implant surgery patients are very often referred to Dr. Christine for his expertise: patients who had have had prior implant infections or prolonged natural erections (this is called priapism and can be damaging to a man’s penis and his ability to have further erections). Patients who are dissatisfied with their penile implant (appearance, length, function) are absolutely welcome in his practice. In fact, Dr. Christine encourages these patients to seek his opinion: experience counts in the operating room and in the examining room. Men with ED and Peyronie’s disease (discussed elsewhere on this website) can be some of the most challenging penile implant surgeries; it is absolutely critical to seek a surgeon who has Dr. Christine’s level of experience successfully treating these men.
The take home message: penile implants are very effective, safe, and highly satisfying…when placed by the right surgeon.
Penile Implant Testimonial:
Related video – Does an inflatable penile implant shorten length?
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