September is Sexual Health Awareness Month
For those of you who have been following my most recent posts, this month I have focused on topics related to Sexual Health. Why? September is Awareness Month for Sexual Health. And, as an expert in the field of Sexual Medicine and Men’s Health, I wish to help you optimize that very important aspect of your life. Therefore, today I wish to talk about a very important therapy not many men know or talk about. I will address the 10 most common questions regarding the penile implant or prosthesis.
Every week I see men with long-standing erectile dysfunction. They have suffered with their erections for years and have tried all sorts of treatments. These include oral pills (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, etc), penile injections, vacuum therapy, and urethral (Muse) suppositories. Some have even spent thousands of dollars on unproven treatments such as shockwave therapy and stem cell/plasma rich protein (PRP) shots. However, many men do not know the benefits of the treatment option that has been proven to be the most effective therapy for ED: the penile implant.
1. What is a penile prosthesis or implant?
The penile prosthesis is a device that is placed INSIDE the penis through a very small opening. It helps a man with ED be able to have an erection EVERY TIME he wishes to. No more pills, no more injections, no more uncertainty, deception or frustration. Research has shown that more than 95% of men who have a penile implant are satisfied with it.
2. How do I know if I am a candidate for the penile implant?
If you have erectile dysfunction that is not responding to oral medications, you are a candidate for the penile implant. There are surgeons that consider it as a “last resort”. However, experts in the field of sexual medicine agree that it should NOT be considered the last resort. Why? Simple. It works! Men (and their partners) are happy.
3. How does the doctor determine which type of implant is right for me?
To answer this question, you must know that there are different types of implants. The inflatable penile implant (IPP) is the most commonly used implant. It gives a man the ability to keep their penis hard during sex, and the penis soft when not having sex. Malleable (semi-rigid) implants are usually reserved for guys who will not be able to squeeze the pump to inflate the implant.
There are different types of inflatable implants as well. Although many doctors stick to using implants from one manufacturer, I use both manufacturers. I will determine which type is best for you depending on your specific anatomy. I will also discuss the benefits of all types, and this way, we will decide together which one is best for you. My goal is to provide you with the most natural outcome possible.
4. What about size? Will I lose length?
No. You should not lose length with the penile implant. However, erectile dysfunction can cause your penis to get smaller which may limit the size of the penile implant. During your surgery, I will measure the penis from the tip of the penis down to the bone. One thing is guaranteed: I will put in the biggest implant your penis will tolerate.
5. Will the implant affect how my penis looks or feels? Is it uncomfortable?
The first few weeks after surgery, you will be uncomfortable and sore. But once you heal, those will go away. The penile implant will be invisible. Nobody will be able to tell that you have the implant unless you tell them, not even your partner. The sensation in your penis will NOT be affected. Additionally, you will still be able to reach orgasm.
6. How about my partner? What will she feel?
One of the major advantages of the penile implant is partner satisfaction. Why? Your partner will feel a natural and firm erection. Your partner will not be able to tell the difference between a natural erection and one with a penile implant. The penile implant provides for a close to ‘spontaneous’ erection. You do not need to wait 30 minutes for a medication to kick in. Within 30 seconds, you will be able to gain an erection. In addition to this, even if you reach orgasm early, your penis will stay hard until your partner is fully satisfied. Think of it this way: every single time your partner wishes to have sex, you will be able to fully satisfy her/him.
7. Can I exercise with it?
You will be sore in your penis and scrotum the first few weeks after your surgery. During those first 4 to 6 weeks you should limit exercise and weight-lifting. However, after your postoperative visit you should be able to exercise without limitations. You will be able to walk, run, lift weights, ride a bike, hike, etc.
8. What are the risks?
The most common risk of the procedure is infection. However, that risk is very low when the surgery is performed by a skilled surgeon. Many men also ask if their bodies will reject the implant. The clear answer is no. Your body will not reject the implant and you will not be allergic to it.
9. Is the penile implant expensive?
I have great news for you! Most major insurances cover the expenses of the surgery. If your insurance does not cover it, we will work with you to try to get coverage.
10. How long does the penile implant last?
The penile implant is one of the best medical devices we have in medicine. Studies show that most penile implants last more than 15 years!
If you have erectile dysfunction and wonder if the penile implant is right for you, call our office today and book an appointment. Your relationship should not be affected because of your ability to maintain an erection. My message to you on this Sexual Health Awareness Month is that no matter your age… you do not have to quit on sex. There are REAL and PROVEN solutions that can help you restore your manhood. Call us. We will be honored to help you.
This article was authored by Dr. Jonathan Clavell. Dr. Clavell is a urologist who specializes in men’s health including erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, Peyronie’s Disease and BPH.