A penile prosthesis is an artificial device that is used as a treatment option for men experiencing erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is a condition where a man is unable to obtain an erection for sexual intercourse or is unable to achieve ejaculation. Erectile dysfunction may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, brain and spinal cord injuries, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, heart attack, herniated disc, and atherosclerosis. Other diseases include liver failure, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Penile implants are also indicated in men with the following conditions: hypogonadism, vascular diseases, pelvic fractures, patients who have undergone bladder or prostate surgery, and impotence related to medical diseases such as renal failure, genital trauma, and drug therapy.
Penile implants are of two types, semi-rigid (malleable or non-hydraulic) and inflatable (hydraulic) implants.
Common complications of using penile implants include uncontrolled bleeding, infection, scar tissue formation, and erosion of tissue around the implant. However, these complications are mild and can be treated accordingly. Other problems include tubing kinks, dilation of cylinders, breakage of wire, and loss of rigidity.
Penile implants are contraindicated in patients with poorly controlled diabetes as it increases susceptibility to infections and also in patients with bladder outlet obstruction as it produces urinary retention.