Various globally conducted studies have shown similar results of 50-60 percent sexual dysfunction in men between the ages of 40 to 70. Some of these patients have needlessly accepted this condition as an expected or unavoidable result of aging, but this is not necessarily the case... Erectile capacity is a function of good vascular functioning. If there is damage in the inner lining of the vessels that bring blood to the penis or the penile structures themselves, caused by such factors as coronary heart disease, hypertension diabetes and the like, then loss of erectile capacity is inevitable. Thanks to new drugs that have been effective in many men with erectile problems, it has now been realized that they do not need to live with this condition anymore. However, in a significant percentage of patients, oral pills do not work or are not usable due to side effects, financial cost or complications. At this moment, penile prosthetic surgery allows men to conduct normal sexual – and, of course, social - lives.
Penile prostheses have been used since the 1970's. These are devices that can correct erectile problems of all degrees of severity. Since the 1970's, many improvements have been made both with respect to the devices themselves, and in surgical techniques. Essentially, there are 2 types of penile implants: malleable and inflatable. Malleable devices are single rods with a bending ability. The device is inserted inside the penis and concealed. Patients bend it downward or sideways so it is unnoticeable in underwear. As the name implies, inflatable implants have a pump system; when the pump is activated fluid fills the device to mimic the original erection; when intercourse has ceased, the de-activation button reroutes the fluid to its reservoir resulting in the loss of rigidity of the penis. Both devices are surgically implanted inside the penis and are externally indistinguishable. As for the sensation of sexual activity, it is no different from normal intercourse since the head of the penis where the nerves are situated are not touched during surgery. Nor is there any difference in terms of ejaculation.
What to expect before and after surgery...
The most feared complication of surgery is infection. Since a foreign object is implanted inside the body, the surgery should be meticulously sterile. Especially in patients with diabetes who are more prone to infection than the normal population, pre-operative preparation is very important. A blood sugar control is a must and any site of infection such as flu, etc. should be eliminated before surgery. All patients are given an antibiotic regimen before the surgery and an antiseptic soap is advised to be used for the penis and the scrotal area every day until surgery. The surgery is an overnight procedure as longer hospital stays may lead to increased infection rates. Patients will wake up with a urinary catheter after the surgery. This will be removed once the patient is mobilized. A bandage and cold dressing will be applied for the hospital stay and application of ice packs is also recommended for the post-operative 3-4 days. All patients should expect some swelling and some degree of bruising in the scrotal and penile area. Antibiotics and pain killers will be prescribed for a week. All patients are prohibited from sexual intercourse for a period of 6 weeks after the surgery in order to allow full recovery of the tissues. A clinic visit will be scheduled 6-7 days after the surgery to check on the sutures. Tight underwear use is advisable to decrease the swelling.
Well, good luck with your new love life. The satisfaction rate of penile prosthetic surgery is more than 95%. Even though the surgery is not a very complicated procedure, patients should be advised that the experience of the surgical team and the hospital is of utmost importance. A sterile operating room, the presence of all the required equipment, the expertise of the surgeon and his team to overcome any complications that may occur during surgery – all these factors will determine the quality of the surgical outcome.
You may well feel that the period during which you suffered erectile problems was an unnecessary one, and wish that you had had the surgery earlier. Your self-esteem will rise and the sense of romance with your partner will be restored.