Risks of Penile Prosthesis
Risks of penile implant surgery include:
- Infection. As with any surgery, infection is possible. You might be at an increased risk of infection if you have a spinal cord injury or diabetes.
- Implant problems. New penile implant designs are reliable, but in rare cases the implants might malfunction. Surgery is necessary to remove, repair or replace a broken implant.
- Internal erosion or adhesion. In some cases, an implant might stick to the skin inside the penis or wear away the skin from inside the penis. Rarely, an implant breaks through the skin. These problems are sometimes linked to an infection.
Treating an infection
Infections after penile implant surgery typically occur in the first few weeks or possibly years later. Early infections can cause swelling of the scrotum, pus buildup and fever. Later infections might involve persistent or recurrent long-term pain.
Surgery to remove the implant is likely necessary to treat an infection. Replacing a penile implant can be complicated and can lead to a buildup of scar tissue and a decrease in penis length.
How you prepare
Initially, you’ll talk to your doctor or a urologist about penile implants. During your visit, your doctor will likely:
- Review your medical history. Be prepared to answer questions about current and past medical conditions, especially your experience with ED. Talk about any medications you’re taking or have taken recently, as well as any surgeries you’ve had.
- Do a physical exam. To make sure penile implants are the best options for you, your doctor will do a physical exam, including a complete urologic exam. Your doctor will confirm the presence and nature of ED, and make sure that your ED can’t be treated in another way.
He or she will also try to determine whether there’s any reason that penile implant surgery is likely to cause complications. Your doctor will also examine your ability to use your hands, since some penile implants require greater manual dexterity than others.
- Discuss your expectations. Make sure you understand what the procedure involves and the type of penile implant that suits you best. It’s also important to know that the procedure is considered permanent and irreversible.
Your doctor will also explain the benefits and risks, including potential complications. Ideally, you’ll include your partner in the discussion with your doctor.
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