Yes, the use of a penile implant, especially an inflatable implant, can increase the risk of priapism, which is a prolonged and often painful erection that lasts for more than four hours without sexual stimulation. Priapism is a potential complication of penile implant surgery, and the risk can be influenced by factors such as the type of implant used, surgical technique, and individual health considerations.
Inflatable penile implants, due to their fluid-filled cylinders and pump mechanisms, can pose a higher risk of priapism compared to malleable implants. Here’s why:
- Inflatable Implants: Inflatable implants involve the use of fluid-filled cylinders that are expanded using a pump to achieve an erection. The pump is activated to transfer fluid from a reservoir to the cylinders. While these implants provide a more natural-feeling erection, they also introduce the possibility of prolonged engorgement due to the fluid mechanism.
- Risk of Fluid Accumulation: In some cases, the fluid might not be able to drain properly from the cylinders, leading to a prolonged engorgement of the penis. This can result in priapism, which can be uncomfortable and, if not treated promptly, potentially damaging to penile tissues.
It’s important to note that priapism is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. If you experience a prolonged erection after penile implant surgery, you should contact your healthcare provider or seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
To minimize the risk of priapism, it’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions, including guidelines on pump usage and sexual activity. Your healthcare provider will also educate you on recognizing the signs of priapism and what steps to take if it occurs.
Before undergoing penile implant surgery, have a thorough discussion with your surgeon about the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure, including the risk of priapism. Your surgeon can provide guidance on how to manage this risk and what to do if priapism occurs.