When erectile dysfunction is a problem the good news is that there are a number of treatment options that may help a man reclaim his sex life. In this post, we discuss penile prosthetic surgery and how it compares to other treatments for erectile dysfunction.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to attain and / or sustain an erection long enough to engage in sexual intercourse. Causes include conditions that affect the blood vessels such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, as well as prostate surgery, trauma, injury, kidney or liver failure. Sometimes the cause may be psychological but it is more likely to be physical or have a physical component.
If the condition is temporary or mild non-surgical treatments may be the best option. However, if it is ongoing, an implant could be an option for getting back into action!
How prosthetic implants work
Prosthetic implants are made from biocompatible silica and they have an antibiotic coating to reduce the risk of infection. There are a few different types of implant:
- A one-piece unit – consisting of a pair of cylinders that are inserted into the penis. With this treatment the penis is always semi-rigid, and can be put in an upward direction for intercourse or downwards for other activities.
- Two and three-piece implants – these are hydraulic systems consisting of cylinders, a pump and a reservoir of fluid. They work through manipulation of the pump (at the base of the groin muscles) to fill the cylinders with fluid, producing an erection on demand. After intercourse the deflation valve is pressed in order to end the erection. In the case of the two-piece implant, the pump and fluid are combined. With the three-piece unit, the reservoir of fluid is placed in the abdomen.The advantage with this unit is that it provides a larger pool of fluid than the two-piece, enabling a longer-lasting erection. The downside is that it will require more extensive surgery.
- Modern implants are very durable. Even with vigorous use, they should last around 15 years or even more.
- The mechanical nature of the implant means that you can quickly produce an erection whenever you wish to.
- The implant is enclosed within your body, and no one need even know that you have one.
- The erection produced by an implant feels very natural.
- Implants do not interfere with the ability to experience orgasm and ejaculation.
- Patients and their partners report very high satisfaction rates.
- Implants do not interfere with sexual spontaneity the way some other treatments might.
As for all surgery prosthetic treatments involve some degree of risk of infection or failure. An implant will also mean you can no longer achieve erections naturally and you would need to take this into consideration.
How implants compare to other treatments
Being a surgical procedure, penile implants are a permanent treatment for erectile dysfunction, and they may not be for everyone. Other treatments include:
- Drug treatments – these include oral drugs such as Viagra, and injections of medication directly into the penis. These treatments work by increasing the flow of blood to the penis, and are generally considered safe to use unless the patient is on nitrate medications. Drug treatments have a lower success rate than implants in producing erections.
- Vacuum pump – this is an external pump device that is used to draw blood into the penis. While this device can work quite well, some users report that it interferes with romance and spontaneity.
You can find out more about penile prosthetic surgery or other erectile dysfunction treatments by contacting us today.