A penis implant, also known as a penile prosthesis, is a medical device surgically implanted into the penis to treat severe erectile dysfunction (ED). It works by providing a mechanical solution for achieving and maintaining an erection suitable for sexual activity. There are two main types of penile implants: inflatable penile implants and malleable (semi-rigid) penile implants. Here’s how each type works:
1. Inflatable Penile Implants: Inflatable implants consist of three main components: two cylinders implanted in the penis, a fluid-filled reservoir placed in the abdomen or scrotum, and a pump placed in the scrotum.
- Flaccid State: In the flaccid state, the penis is soft and flexible. The cylinders are not filled with fluid, and the pump is not activated.
- Initiating Erection: To initiate an erection, the user manually squeezes and releases the pump, located in the scrotum. This action transfers fluid from the reservoir into the cylinders, causing the penis to become rigid and erect.
- Sexual Activity: With the penis in an erect state, sexual activity can be pursued as normal. The erection achieved through the implant is generally firm and can be maintained for as long as desired.
- Completing Sexual Activity: After sexual activity, the user can manually activate the pump again to reverse the process. The fluid is returned from the cylinders to the reservoir, deflating the penis and returning it to a flaccid state.
2. Malleable (Semi-Rigid) Penile Implants: Malleable implants consist of two bendable rods that are surgically implanted into the penis. The rods are made of a flexible material that allows the user to bend them into an upward position for sexual activity and then bend them back down for a flaccid state.
- Flaccid State: In the flaccid state, the penis is in a naturally flexible position. The rods remain in a downward position, allowing the penis to bend easily.
- Initiating Erection: To initiate an erection, the user manually bends the rods upward to create a rigid, erect position. The rods hold the penis in this position, allowing for sexual activity.
- Sexual Activity: With the penis held in an erect position by the rods, sexual activity can be pursued.
- Completing Sexual Activity: After sexual activity, the user manually bends the rods back down to return the penis to a flaccid state.
Both types of implants provide a reliable and consistent solution for achieving erections when other treatment options have not been effective. The choice between inflatable and malleable implants depends on individual preferences, anatomical considerations, and the recommendations of the healthcare provider. It’s important for individuals considering a penile implant to have a thorough discussion with a qualified healthcare provider to understand how the device works, the potential benefits and risks, and how to properly use and maintain the implant after surgery.