Penile Implants Restore Virility

As men age, their ability to keep an erection goes down. Just like the heart has little blood vessels that clog and close down over the years, the penis has little blood vessels that do the same thing. A lot of men get a heart bypass surgery, but there isn’t anything like that for the penis because the blood vessels of the penis are in a location where this sort of surgery can’t be done.

If the blood vessels get too damaged, the pills such as Viagra and Cialis cannot work, because they work to relax these vessels and they are too foregone. I recommend a vacuum erection device to men who are unhappy with the pills either because they don’t work or because they are too expensive. The vacuum pump I recommend and prescribe in clinic is a good system proven with a long track record, and will give years of service for one low price partially paid by insurance. But only about half the men who use one like it.

The Inflatable Penile Prosthesis (IPP) is the last step in restoring erections, because I think men should try the pills, the vacuum pump, and maybe the penile injections before resorting to the IPP. But the IPP is a fantastic device that has been available almost 25 years and the improvements in these products make them very safe and reliable. These implants have two cylinders that go in the penis lengthways, with a water reservoir in the abdomen and a pump in the scrotum. To get an erection the pump is activated, and when done the water is returned to the reservoir with a button press. It is reliable, works for a very long time, and is very satisfying to those who have them.

Lately I’ve had patients who have had their penile implant work many times a week for as long as 15 years. They were very happy with it and would do it again.

Placing an IPP requires a one hour surgery, and a stay overnight just to keep an eye on things. The biggest risk is infection, which occurs 1 to 3% of the time, depending on the study. If an infection occurs the device has to be removed and another placed with an antibiotic washout. Problems during placement can occur, such as a perforation of the lining holding the cylinder in, and urethral injury; these could cause the IPP to not be placed until a later date. Thankfully this happens rarely in most patients.

If you are interested in discussing this further, I’d enjoy talking with you about it in my office. Call for an appointment in the next few days.

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