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Surgery for Erectile Dysfunction (Implants)

Surgery for erectile dysfunction (ED) is not common, but it may be the best treatment in some cases. During surgery, your healthcare provider places an implant (also called a prosthesis) inside the spongy chambers of your penis. Then, the implant can be used to provide an erection.

Side view of penis with malleable implant in place, outline shows relaxed position.

Side view of penis with pump inflatable implant inside.

Mechanical implants

This type of implant is easy to use. Bendable rods can make your penis appear erect. When not in use, the rods can be bent downward. Some implants have joints that lock the implant into position.

Inflatable implants

This is the most complex type of implant. It allows your penis to look and feel either erect or flaccid. You pump fluid from a storage bulb to make your penis erect. A release valve makes your penis flaccid again. Using the device properly takes some skill and practice.

Risks and possible complications

  • Infection

  • Bleeding

  • Failure or leakage of the prosthesis

  • Wearing down of the prosthesis

Online Medical Reviewer: Marc Greenstein MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2019
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