Forget what you heard or thought you knew about penile implants. Our expert at Mission Urology, Scott Sech, MD, a board-certified urologist, helps separate fact from fiction on this misunderstood healthcare option for men.
Myth: Penile implants are novelty procedures.
Fact: Men who choose a penile implant (also known as penile prosthesis) tend to suffer from severe erectile dysfunction (ED) and have had a poor response to other ED treatments.
Myth: A penile implant is the least desirable ED treatment option.
Fact: Satisfaction rates across several studies indicate 94 percent of men were moderately or completely satisfied with the results of their choice of penile prostheses, in comparison to satisfaction rates with Viagra (52 percent) or penile injection therapy (41 percent).
Myth: Penile implants are obtrusive and feel unnatural.
Fact: Penile implants are a discrete, easy-to-use and spontaneous treatment for ED. An inflatable penile prosthesis is not noticeable when the penis is flaccid (totally concealed in the body). A penile implant acts and feels like a natural erection (partner satisfaction rates 92 percent), with confident and reliable operation. It works every time, producing a firm, reliable erection that will last until it’s deflated. The penile implant offers normal penile sensation and the ability to orgasm.
Myth: Penile implants can’t be counted on every time.
Fact: Penile implants have excellent mechanical reliability rates — studies have shown mechanical reliability rates of 97 percent at five years. The devices include an easy-to-locate pump in the scrotum for one-handed, one-step, push-button inflation and deflation.
Myth: The penile implant procedure is too invasive and requires too long a recovery.
Fact: I use a minimally invasive technique through a small incision above the penis. The procedure is typically performed in less than an hour, and patients are observed overnight in the hospital. Post operatively, most patients have mild to moderate penile pain for the first week that is easily controlled with oral pain medications, and most can start using the device 4-6 weeks after placement.
Myth: Penile implants aren’t covered by insurance.
Fact: The procedure is generally covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare.
Scott Sech, MD, is a board-certified urologist with Mission Urology.