What is a penile prosthesis?
According to various studies, between 20% and 50% of the adult male population suffers from erectile dysfunction, a problem that is more common after the age of 60, but it can also occurs in young adults.
The penile prosthesis is the last therapeutic resource for erectile dysfunction, when all previous treatments have failed or when a definitive treatment is desired, without relying on drugs.
There are two main types of penile prostheses: semi-rigid and inflatable. Each type works differently and has various advantages and disadvantages.
Inflatable prosthesis (the “little bomb”).
This device can be inflated to create an erection and deflated at other times. Three-piece inflatable implants use a fluid-filled reservoir that is implanted under the abdominal wall, a pump and a release valve that are placed inside the scrotum, and two inflatable cylinders inside the penis.
To achieve an erection, you must pump the fluid, which is saline, from the reservoir into the cylinders. Then, release the valve on the scrotum to drain the fluid back into the reservoir.
The two-piece model works in a similar way, but the fluid in the reservoir is part of the pump that is implanted in the scrotum. In both devices, the reservoir is filled with saline on the day of surgery and remains in the device.
Semi-rigid devices are always firm. The penis can be bent away from the body for sexual intercourse and toward the body to hide it.
A malleable, or semi-rigid, penile implant is a device that does not have inflatable components or a pump, but instead consists of two firm, yet flexible rods that are placed inside the penis.
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