If other methods fail to produce
erections in prostate cancer patients, penile implants
may serve as a last resort. Although extreme, they allow
a man to have an erection whenever he chooses. The implant
is a surgical procedure where patients are put to sleep
The operation can take 30 minutes to 2 hours and patients
may leave the hospital the same day or stay overnight
depending on the procedure and its results.
There are several types of penile implants or prostheses available, all slightly increasing the diameter of the penis.
- The semirigid
implant is the most simple in form, the
least expensive, and is always ready for use.
- The malleable
implant contains rods that can be bent
to have sex and can be unbent to resume a normal position.
- The self-contained
inflatable implant transfers fluid from
a reservoir in the abdomen to two cylinders in the
penis, creating an erection. After sex, patients can
press a release valve and bend the penis to get the
fluid back to its reservoir.
- The fully inflatable implant is the most complicated and allows full erections during sex and flaccidity at rest.
The more advanced the implant is the more likely it is to malfunction. Side effects may include infection, scarring, or damage to the two chambers of the penis. Patients should thoroughly research the risks associated with penile implants before opting for this treatment. It is important to find a physician who is easy to talk to and has performed numerous penile implant operations.