What is the Penile Implant?
A penile implant (or penile prosthesis) is a custom-fit medical device, surgically placed into a penis to produce a natural-looking and natural-feeling erection – in effect it replaces the damaged erection mechanism, allowing patients to regain a healthy and satisfactory sexual life.
It is a permanent option for men suffering from severe erectile dysfunction irrespective of the underlying reasons and offers concealed support for an erection whenever and wherever desired.
Penile implants have been in clinical use for over 40 years and over 700,000 patients have been treated with penile implants.
Reasons to consider a Penile Implant
- Patient satisfaction rates: Studies indicate 93.8% of men are satisfied with their penile prosthesis choice, far outpacing satisfaction levels for Viagra (51.6%) or injection therapy (40.9%)
- A discrete treatment for erectile dysfunction: A penile prosthesis is not noticeable when your penis is flaccid or erect. Your partner won’t be able to tell you’ve had an implant unless you tell them
- Boost sexual performance: With an implant you will always have strong and consistent erection on demand during intercourse which is something that even young men with healthy erections may struggle to acheive
- A minimally invasive operation with minimal recovery time: Penile implant surgery is minimally invasive, lasting around 1 hour and most patients are discharged the same day from the hospital, being able to resume their normal daily activities the next day after their operation. After four to six weeks, you are able to engage in regular sexual intercourse and regain healthy sexual function
I am considering a Penile Prosthesis option. What should I do next?
If you are considering having a penile prosthesis operation, we advise you to book a consultation with one of our highly experienced doctors. Our clinic is one of the few high volume penile prosthesis centres in the country and we are confident that we can assist you in choosing the best treatment option.
During the consultation, the doctor will carry out a thorough evaluation of your erectile dysfunction issues, assess whether you are a viable candidate for penile implant surgery, discuss the different options for the penile implant operation and answer any questions that you may have.
Penile Implant Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a good candidate for penile implant?
All patients suffering from severe erectile dysfunction that do not respond to other ED treatment options are candidates for a penile implant. Assuming that surgery is the indicated treatment option then there are no contra-indications except being healthy enough for general anaesthesia – this will be assessed by your doctor pre-operatively.
Will my penis be the same after the penile implant?
Yes – the only difference will be that you will be able to achieve good erections. In fact, many patients feel that the erections they achieve after a penile implant are the hardest that they have experienced.
Which is the best penile implant?
There are various types of penile implants from two main medical device companies (AMS and Coloplast). There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding which penile implant is the best for a particular patient including pre-existing medical conditions, patient expectations and cost (for self-paying patients) among others.
During your consultation with the doctor, the options will be discussed extensively and you will decide together, which is the best penile implant for you.
How long does the operation take?
All our penile implant surgeries are day care and take between 1 and 2 hours of operating time. This means that the whole process (from admission to discharge from the clinic) is around 6 hours, after which you can return to your accommodation.
Do I need general anaesthesia?
Yes – the operation is performed under general anaesthesia. However, this need not worry you. Modern day care surgery requires light anaesthesia and since our operations are minimally invasive, it is very unlikely that there will be any issues.
Practically, you are put to sleep just before the operation starts and wake up just after the surgeon finishes – so in total you will be under anaesthesia for around 2 hours.
How long do I need to stay in the hospital for?
After the operation you would need to stay in hospital for 3-4 hours. During this time, you will be attended by our nurse, eat something, get checked by your surgeon and then you will be ready to go home. You will be able to walk and function normally, usually with very little pain or discomfort.
I am travelling from abroad – how long do I need to stay for follow up after my surgery?
The next day after your operation you will have a follow up in office consultation with your surgeon to check that everything is fine. After that, most patients can travel although we recommend that you stay for a further 1-2 days so that you have further follow ups over then next few days with your surgeon but, in most cases this is not necessary.
What do I need to do to prepare for the operation?
Practically nothing – although following a healthy lifestyle (in terms of diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption) the preceding month is advised since this will assist with the recovery. Moreover, you will be given detailed fasting instructions that you would need to follow 6 hours before the surgery. However, if you have fallen ill or there are any other recent health concerns make sure you inform your surgeon as soon as possible so as to evaluate whether the surgery would need to be post-poned to a later date. If there are any other things you would need to do pre-operatively then the doctor will inform you during your consultation.
What is the cost of the penile implant surgery?
Surgical treatment costs will depend on the type of operation, the type of penile implant used and the specific circumstances of each patient. Following your consultation and if you are a candidate for a surgical treatment an all inclusive cost will be quoted (covering medical material, hospital fees, anaesthetist fees and surgeon’s fee and all the follow up consultations).
How experienced are your surgeons?
Our surgeons are focusing exclusively on male uro-genital surgery and have also published extensively on the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction and. In fact, we are an international referral centre and patients travel from all over the world to get operated at our centres.
Equally important is the fact that as an international network of andrology practices, we have developed very strict and state of the art surgical protocols and have monthly sessions during which our surgeons share their experiences and discuss difficult cases hence constantly improving the surgical techniques employed.
This means that the surgeons of our group have a combined experience of over 1400 penile implant surgeries, which is one of the highest in the world.
What are your success rates?
Naturally, as is the case with all medical operations there is a small possibility of complications. The two most severe complications is mechanical failure (less than 5%) and infection of the prosthesis (2-3%). In both cases, the complications can be resolved with a revision of the surgery and/or replacement of the prosthesis. Revision surgery has a success rate of 93%, bringing the total success rate of penile prosthesis surgery to over 99%, which is extremely high.
We believe a very important element that results to such high success rates, beyond the surgical skills of our doctors, is the correct patient selection in terms of surgical technique and also the very extensive post-surgical follow up of our patients – our experience suggest that this is of paramount importance for a successful surgical outcome.
Do you have any patient testimonials?
Yes. We have extensive patient testimonials (published anonymously here) and we can also put you in contact with individual patients, either via phone or email if you would like to know more about their surgical experience in our clinic.
What do I need to do after the surgery?
The day after your operation, you need to attend a consultation with your surgeon, during which he will give you detailed post-operative instructions, change your medical dressing and answer any questions that you might have.
After that and until your next in person consultation (usually a 2-4 weeks later) your surgeon and our patient co-ordination team will be in close contact with you asking for regular updates and also addressing any concerns you might have.
How long do I need to take of work in order to have the surgery?
Most patients can return to work 2-5 days after their operation assuming it is an office based work. If your work involves heavy physical activity, then you might need a bit longer off work.
How long after the surgery can I resume with sexual activities?
Usually sexual activities can be resumed after 4-6 weeks unless your surgeon advices otherwise.
Will I experience pain after the operation?
Some muted pain and discomfort should be expected but this can be countered with over the counter oral painkillers.
Do I need to replace the penile implant after a few years?
Like any mechanical device, penile implants undergo normal wear and tear might need to be replaced after 10-15 years. However, these are the figures that have been reported with older types of penile implants. In practice, the latest implant models are produced with newer materials and more advanced manufacturing techniques meaning that their useful life can be significantly higher than 10 years.
What are the potential complications?
All our operations are minimally invasive and most complications can be treated conservatively.
Most patients will experience some swelling of the penis, which will subside over the first few days from the operation. Rare complications (most of them associated with any type of surgery) might include bleeding, infection (you will be prescribed anti-biotics straight after the surgery so as to prevent this), localised tissue damage (blood vessels, nerves, penis glans, urethra), temporary/ permanent glans numbness, recurrence or residual curvature, penile shortening, post-operative erectile dysfunction and in some cases penile bulging. These risks are minimised by choosing the right operating technique based on the individual circumstances of the patient and during your pre-operative consultation, you will be informed extensively about the risks of the operation and your surgeon will answer any questions that you might have.