Penile Implants After Prostate Cancer Surgery

Penile implants can help men recover erectile function after prostatectomy Prostate surgery, or prostatectomy, is an absolute must in case of prostate cancer patients. However, the pitfall of this surgery is erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence that follows in most patients. Many of the prostate cancer survivors have to contend with impotence after surgery. However, there is an option of penile implants available to them, which effectively tackles ED to a large extent.

Types of Penile Implants

The type of penile implant, aka penile prosthesis, required for each patient varies. A number of factors are responsible for the selection of ideal penile implant, like age of the patient/partner, size of glans and scrotum, different ratios and patient history. Depending on these factors, the following types of penile implants may be used:

  1. Non-inflatable Semi-grid Penile Implant: always ready-to-use.
  2. Non-inflatable Malleable Penile Implant: consists of rods that can be bent during sex and unbent while at rest.
  3. Self-contained Inflatable Penile Implant: transfers fluid from a reservoir in the abdomen to two cylinders in the penis; thus, creating an erection. Upon completion of the sexual activity, you can simply press a release valve, and easily bend the penis so that the fluid gets back to its reservoir.
  4. Fully Inflatable Penile Implant: complicated, but allows full erections during sexual activity and flaccidity while at rest.

Zeroing in on the type of penile implant that suits you is the most important decision that must be taken in full consultation with the doctor.

The Procedure

Although a bit risky, the penile implants are still worth a try if all other treatment options have failed to achieve the desired results. This surgical procedure lasts anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours, and is performed under general anesthesia. It is a complex procedure and only an expert can pull it off with 100% success. Depending on the result of the procedure, patient may require overnight hospitalization.

Can the Doctor Refuse a Penile Implant?

Penile implant is a surgical procedure that requires extreme caution and all the tests and medical history of the patient needs to be assessed before a doctor finally gives his consent for the procedure. For instance, a diabetic patient with uncontrolled sugar levels will not be prescribed penile implants. Similarly, a patient having bladder outlet obstruction will not be given the go-ahead for a penile implant, since it can obstruct urine flow and may also cause urinary retention, which in turn, can damage the kidneys.

Risks Associated with Penile Implants

  • The major risk associated with penile implants is the incompetence of the surgeon, who can permanently damage the sensitive penile tissues, if he/she lacks the required expertise.
  • The surgery can also lead to infections that are hard to treat. Moreover, the cost of treatment of some infections can be even higher than that of the surgery itself.
  • The leakage of silicone from the implants presents a persistent danger to the penis health.
  • Scarring or damaging of two chambers of penis could be the undesirable result of penile implants.