Surgical Treatments | Penile Implants

Surgical Treatments | Penile Implants

Penile implants have been in use for over 40 years,35 and are a long term option for a man suffering from ED. Considered highly effective and incredibly reliable the penile implant has helped nearly 500,000 men4return to an active and satisfying sex life. The 3-piece device is implanted into the penis, contained entirely within the body and offers concealed support for an erection whenever and as long as desired, giving back the spontaneity to have sex when the mood strikes.2  Patients report 97% satisfaction rates with a penile implant.55

How it works

The 3-piece penile implant includes a pair of fluid filled cylinders completely concealed within the penis, a small pump placed inside the scrotum, and a reservoir of saline placed in the lower abdomen.  The broad range of lengths provide a custom fit for patients.

Squeezing and releasing the pump in the scrotum activates the device moving fluid from the reservoir into the cylinders.  The cylinders then expand in girth (in some options) and length, mimicking a natural erection which provides rigidity when inflated.  The implant may have antibiotics embedded in the surface to help prevent infection.  The lock-out value is designed to reduce auto-inflation.

Deflate the device by pressing the one-touch button on the pump. The penis then returns to a soft, flaccid and natural-looking appearance.

There are other types of penile implants, known as semi-rigid or malleable devices.  Each type of penile implant offers unique features and benefits, choosing the implant that is best for you is a very personal decision.  

You will want to discuss the choices with your doctor or urologist in order to choose the option that is right for you.

Features and Benefits

A natural looking appearance when flaccid or erect, the penile implant allows direct control of both the timing and duration of an erection. Typically the penile implant does not interfere with ejaculation or orgasm.  Penis surgery is considered minimally invasive.

Historically, infection rates with penile implants are low – 3 out of 100 men (3%) will experience an infection; however some men may be at higher risk for infections.44

Most patients report that a penile implant looks and feels natural. Many partners of patients with penile implants often say they wouldn’t know their partner had an implant if they had not known about the penile implant surgery.45

Penile implants are considered a reliable and durable long term treatment option for ED.23,56

Risks and Side Effects

As with any medical procedure, complications can occur. The penile implant requires manual skill to use; some risks include but are not limited to device malfunction and postoperative pain.23,24

Side effects include, but are not limited to:33

  • Natural or spontaneous erections as well as other interventional treatment options will no longer be possible.
  • Infection, in which case the implant may have to be removed.
  • Penis may become shorter, curved, or scarred.
  • Pain typically associated with the healing process.
  • Swelling and/or brusing
  • Mechanical failure of the implant.

The Procedure

The implant procedure is typically done on a short hospital stay basis, with patients generally checking in the morning of the procedure and getting discharged within 48 hours.33  The surgery is performed under anesthesia so you do not feel any pain. You may be given an antibiotic  to reduce the risk of infection.

Before the procedure, your urologist should give you a thorough explanation of what will happen during the procedure and how to prepare for it.  Post procedure, your  urologist may prescribe pain medication as well as antibiotics to prevent infection.

Pre-and post-surgical care may vary from patient to patient. You will want to discuss your specific care plan with your urologist.

Patients and Partners are Satisfied 23

Many patients and partners are highly satisfied with the penile implant.

Patients often wonder if their sexual activity will be the same with an implant. 92% of patients and 96% of partners reported sexual activity to be excellent or satisfactory with the three-piece inflatable.23

Penile Implant Satisfaction Rates


Medicare and/or most private insurance companies cover a penile implant, however, individual coverage may vary. If you don’t have insurance or a penile implant isn’t a covered benefit, you can choose to self-finance.  To self-finance you will need to obtain a detailed description of the out-of-pocket costs in advance from the urologist.  Any patient that falls under Veterans Affairs policies will have the total cost of the surgery covered by the Commonwealth Government.  Work with your  urologist’s office and insurance provider to check coverage levels prior to receiving treatment.


Every patient’s experience is different, and you should talk to your urologist about what to expect. You may experience pain and soreness at the surgical site. Typically, it takes a few days to return to a regular daily routine of light activity. The full healing time before using your device is usually about 6 weeks. As with any medical procedure, complications can occur.

Important Safety Information

Your urologist or doctor is your best source for information on the risks and benefits of a penile implant. Talk to your urologist or doctor for a complete listing of risks, warnings and important safety information.  Additional information is provided in the product Patient Manuals, available from your doctor or urologist.

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