Penile Implants (cont.)
In this Article
How Does the Penile Prosthesis Work?
The inflatable penile prosthesis consists of two cylinders -- a reservoir and a pump -- which are placed surgically in the body. The two cylinders are inserted in the penis and connected by tubing to a separate reservoir of fluid. The reservoir is implanted under the groin muscles. A pump is also connected to the system and sits under the loose skin of the scrotal sac, between the testicles.
To inflate the prosthesis, the man presses on the pump. The pump transfers fluid from the reservoir to the cylinders in the penis, inflating them. Pressing on a deflation valve at the base of the pump returns the fluid to the reservoir, deflating the penis.
Is the Prosthesis Noticeable?
While men who have had the prosthesis surgery can see the small surgical scar where the bottom of the penis meets the scrotal sac, other people probably will be unable to tell that a man has an inflatable penile prosthesis. Most men would not be embarrassed in a locker room or public restroom, for example.
What Is Sex Like With the Prosthesis?
When the penis is inflated, the prosthesis makes the penis stiff and thick, similar to a natural erection. Most men rate the erection as shorter than their normal erection; however, newer models have cylinders that may increase the length, thickness, and stiffness of the penis.
A penile prosthesis does not change sensation on the skin of the penis or a man's ability to reach orgasm. Ejaculation is not affected. Once a penile prosthesis is put in, however, it may destroy the natural erection reflex. Men usually cannot get an erection without inflating the implant. If the implant is removed, the man may never again have natural erections.