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Conditions: Erectile Dysfunction

Penile Implants - Erectile Dysfunction

What are the possible complications of penile implants?

The main risks are infection, erosion and mechanical failure. If infection occurs, removal of the prosthesis will most likely have to occur in order to eliminate the infection. Historically, after removing the prosthesis, re-implantation of another device has been postponed for several months.

Currently, salvage implant surgery removes the infected device and replaces it with a new device at the same time. The results of this approach suggest that 80% of the salvage implants do not get infected again. The advantage of this approach is that it avoids the penile shortening that occurs in the penis that has had an implant removed without being replaced.

Erosion, when the tissue around the implant is damaged and the device pushes through the skin, is often associated with infection and often necessitates removal of the device.

While post-operative complications of penile implant surgery are not common, mechanical failure is more likely to occur with inflatable than with rod prostheses. The most common cause of failure in these devices is leakage from the cylinders, causing the fluid present to leak into the body (these prostheses contain normal saline that is usually absorbed without harm). After mechanical failure, another operation for prosthesis replacement or repair is necessary if the man wants to remain sexually active. This occurs in 15-30% of men within 10-15 years after the original implant has been placed.

Other, less common mechanical complications include the implant being positioned incorrectly inflating spontaneously (auto-inflation).

When inserted, penile prosthesis does not change sensation on the skin of the penis or a man's ability to reach orgasm, and ejaculation is not affected. But, once a penile prosthesis is put in, it may destroy the ability to naturally get an erection.

As with all medical procedures, it is important to discuss the possible risks and complications involved in penile implant surgery with a physician in order to determine which procedure is best.

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