Penile implants

Penile implants are devices placed inside the penis to allow men with erectile dysfunction (ED) to get an erection. Penile implants are typically recommended after other treatments for ED fail.

There are two main types of penile implants, semirigid and inflatable. Each type of penile implant works differently and has various pros and cons.

The placement of penile implants requires surgery. Before choosing penile implants, make sure you understand what surgery involves, including possible risks, complications and follow-up care.

Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect Results

For most men, erectile dysfunction can be successfully treated with medications or use of a penis pump (vacuum constriction device). You might consider penile implants if you aren't a candidate for other treatments or you can't get an erection sufficient for sexual activity by using other methods.

Penile implants can also be used to treat severe cases of a condition that causes scarring inside the penis, leading to curved, painful erections (Peyronie's disease).

Penile implants aren't for everyone. Your doctor might caution against penile implants if you have:

  • ED that's situational, the result of a relationship conflict or potentially reversible
  • An infection, such as a pulmonary infection or urinary tract infection
  • Dermatitis, wounds or skin lesions on your penis or scrotum

Keep in mind that while penile implants allow men to get an erection, they don't increase sexual desire or sensation. Most penile implants also won't make your penis any larger than it naturally is at the time of surgery. In fact, your erect penis might be slightly shorter than it used to be.

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