Erectile Dysfunction(ED) and Penile Implants

Penile Implant

The timing behind having a safe and successful sexual intercourse can be considered as one of the key parameters, which can influence the state of minds of couples. However, one of the common challenges, you might come across while you attempt a safe sexual intercourse, is Erectile Dysfunction. Now, what is erectile dysfunction? What are the factors that lead to ED problems? What are the preferred erectile dysfunction treatments available and how expensive it is? These questions will surely cross your minds, not once but many times. If and whenever it does, there is no need for you to panic as there is a way out.

Before we get into Erectile Dysfunction, it would be a good to begin by briefly understanding how the process of erection works.

How Erection Works?

During the process of erection, there is an increased blood flow into the vascular compartment of the Penis.The blood flows into two different chambers of the penis called as corpora cavernosa, made up of spongy muscle tissues. These spongy muscle tissues relax and trap the blood inside the penis. As a result, the blood pressure makes the penis firm, which leads to erection.

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

In simplest terms, erectile dysfunction refers to a continued inability, to achieve or retain an erection that is firm and good enough, to have a sexual intercourse. ED problems are quite common and can happen due to chronic health problems or emotional disturbances. As such, there is no single cause which might lead to erectile dysfunction. Before we get into the causes in a bit more detail, it would benefit us to know, as to at what stage, you might need to consult your Urologist, citing an ED problem. In other words, what could be the symptoms?

Several recently conducted studies acknowledged the high prevalence of ED. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study reported a prevalence of 52%. The National Health and Social Life Survey looked at sexual function in men and women. 30% of men over 50 and 44% of men over 65 suffer from erectile ED.

What are the symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?

Symptoms can range from,

  • Trouble in getting an erection
  • Trouble in maintaining an erection
  • Reduced sexual desire
  • Hard nodule felt in penis

Generally, it is a good idea to consult an andrologist/ urologist to understand at what stage of complexity the problem exists and what are the possible solutions. However, there is no need to feel embarrassed or tense at any stage as sometimes, treating an underlying condition might just be enough to reverse erectile dysfunction.

What are the causes of Erectile Dysfunction?

The causes for erectile dysfunction can be either organic (physical) or psychological.

The basic problem will be either:

  • There is not enough blood flow into the Penis (arterial problem)
  • The penis cannot trap the blood during erection (venous problem).

Organic (Physical) cause

  • Diabetes
  • Peyronie’s disease (hard plaque/ nodule in penis)
  • Any injury or surgery at the pelvic area which might prevent nerve signals from the brain in connecting with the penis.
  • Treatments for Prostate Cancer
  • Issues related to Drugs, Alcohol or Obesity
  • Tobacco use

 Psychological Stress

  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Stress at work
  • Stress at home which include tense relationship
  • Stress amounting due to social or religious conflicts

NU Hospitals, one of the formidable hospitals in Bangalore, has a proven track record, in successfully diagnosing and treating ED cases.  Your Andrologist/Urologist at NU Hospitals will leave no stones unturned in making you feel extremely relaxed and comfortable, as you discuss your most sensitive concerns with respect to ED problems with us.

What are the treatments of Erectile Dysfunction?

Is there anything beyond Viagra for ED treatment?

Based on your relevant clinical history and test reports, your androlologist might recommend psychosexual counselling or ED medications or suggest an ED surgery. It is therefore important to know and understand all the available options that might suit you and your living style, by discussing with your Andrologist. Possible medical/surgical options could be,

  • Oral ED medications or penile injections to improve the blood flow in the penis, thereby improving chances of erection,
  • The use of Vacuum erection devices to facilitate blood flow into the penis thereby helping to achieve erection.
  • Surgical intervention: Penile implants

Why talk about a penile implant surgery, when there exists a pill for that problem?

Well, the overall success of Viagra-like medications enabling men to achieve an erection firm enough for intercourse is 69%. So it doesn’t work for everybody.

One of the widely suggested surgical option and preferred by patients with ED problems has been Penile Implant/ Penile prosthesis. Let’s understand more about this interesting procedure.

What is Penile Implant?

In simplest terms, penile implants are devices, which are surgically placed inside the penis of the patient suffering from ED problems, to allow them to achieve the desired quantum of erection with complete concealment. Penile implants have been in clinical use for over 40 years and nearly 5,00,000 men have received a Boston Scientific Penile Implant in USA and Europe.

What are the types of Penile Implants?

Types of Penile Implants

The Semirigid or Malleable penile implant:- 

In this procedure, two matching silicone cylinders are surgically implanted inside the penis. This is a comparatively simple surgery and with lesser complications. This type of penile implant surgery enjoys a high success rate amongst patients and is proven to be highly effective. Patient and partner satisfaction rates are around 90% and 60% respectively with semirigid penile implant.

Semirigid implant

Inflatable type penile implants:-

The most preferred type of penile implant is the Inflatable device, which can be inflated to create an erection and deflated at other times. The inflatable type penile implants are further categorized into two types;

  • The Three-piece inflatable implant uses a fluid-filled reservoir implanted under the abdominal wall, a pump and a release valve placed inside the scrotum, and two inflatable cylinders inside the penis. The fluid from the reservoir is pumped into cylinders to achieve an erection and later drained back into the reservoir, by releasing the valve inside the scrotum.
  • The two-piece inflatable implant model works in a similar way, but here fluid reservoir is part of the pump implanted in the scrotum.

Most patients choose an inflatable device because the penis looks more natural — both when erect and when flaccid — than with semirigid implants. Inflatable implants expand the girth of the penis, creating a firmer-feeling erection; depending on the model, the penis may also lengthen oaccsionally. One downside to inflatable implants is the risk of mechanical failure.

Some patients opt for malleable (semirigid) devices because they are easier to manipulate than inflatable implants, which require some manual dexterity. As far as the surgery goes, a single incision makes them simpler to insert.

Sometimes (though not always), previous radiation therapy or abdominal surgery, such as a kidney transplant or radical prostatectomy, makes surgery to place the abdominal reservoir difficult and risky; a two-piece implant may be best in these circumstances instead of 3-piece implant.

How long does a penile implant last? Will I ever need to replace it?

It is impossible to predict how long a particular implant will function in every patient. As with any medical device, penile implants are subject to wear and mechanical failure over time. A recent study showed that the overall survival rate of the inflatable penile implant at 5, 10, and 15 years was 89.1%, 71.4%, and 60.5%, respectively. To prolong the life of the implant, follow the advice of your Andrologist.

What are the features of a penile implant?

Designed to be a permanent solution for ED

  • Spontaneous — you can have sex when the mood strikes
  • Once activated, the erection can last as long as you desire
  • Entirely contained inside the body — no one knows you have one unless you tell them
  • Designed to feel natural during intercourse
  • High patient and partner satisfaction reported
  • Typically does not interfere with ejaculation or orgasm

Choose Well. Be Well

NU Hospitals has been one of the premier hospitals in South India which has successfully handled complex cases related to Erectile Dysfunction, faced by patients, to their complete satisfaction, by doing Penile Implant surgeries. With compassionate care and extraordinary nursing, NU Hospitals continues its dedication towards serving patients without compromising on ethical treatment procedures.

NU Hospitals does not stop at what it has achieved with respect to delivering quality service. By being a part of frequently conducted seminars and symposiums, our doctors add on to their rich knowledge with a sole aim towards offering the best medical care to our patients. November 21st, 2019 saw NU Hospitals organize South Asia's First Cadaveric Penile Implant Workshop in Bangalore which drew in a huge participation from various countries across the globe. The interactive session with few of the best urologists in the world, enhanced NU Hospitals’ reputation as a seasoned team player, committed towards progressive care.


ED problems do cause anxiety among patients but there is no need to fear as there are specific treatments available to offer a satisfactory result to patients. A recent American Study of 200 patients and 120 partners says that 98% of the patients reported an excellent erection after the inflatable Penile Implant surgery while 92% of the partners reported an excellent sexual activity. In an extended survey conducted with 253 patients, the overall satisfaction rate was a staggering 97%! With Penile Implants serving as a comfortable and confident solution, patients with ED problems can breathe easy and look forward to enjoying a comfortable life style.

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