The surgical implantation of a prosthetic device may appear to some as a very extreme measure to treat erectile dysfunction. However patients who opt for this form of therapy usually have attempted multiple alternative therapies including oral drugs, intracavernosal injection therapy and possibly vacuum erection device prior to deciding upon the implantation of a penile prosthesis.
Most patients have established a good long- term relationship with their urologist, and only after they feel comfortable with their doctor will they consent to such a procedure.
Patients who have chosen this form of therapy have either not obtained success with other options, are not able to tolerate oral medications due to side effects from the drugs or contraindications due to other underlying conditions or medications that they are taking, or do not want to rely on utilizing medications in order to obtain an erection. Implants provide the patient with an erection that has satisfactory rigidity and flaccidity.
Numerous studies have looked at the satisfaction of the patients who have these implanted devices. Patients are always concerned about what their sex life will be like after the implant. A multi-center study has demonstrated overall patient and partner satisfaction rates of 96% and 91% after the implantation of the American Medical System Ambicor Prosthesis.
In another study, over 90% of patients who have an implant in place have agreed that if they needed to they would choose to have the surgery again. Prosthetic surgery is associated with the highest satisfaction rates of all therapeutic options.
In order to have patients be satisfied, careful preoperative education is undertaken. The patient must fully understand that the insertion of these devices will not lead to any penile lengthening but only increased rigidity that will allow for sexual penetration. Other things that need to be discussed with the patient include a review of the various prostheses that are available, cosmetic outcome, and complications that may arise.
The Ambicor is a 2 piece inflatable pre-connected penile prosthesis that consists of a pair of cylinders that are implanted into the right and left corpora cavernosa and a single pump bulb that is implanted in the scrotum. Squeezing the pump inflates the prosthesis and bending it down will cause it to deflate and restores the penis to its resting state. This fluid filled system utilizes a small inflation pump that results in easy and rapid inflation and deflation of the prosthesis.
Other types of prosthesis are also available including 3 piece inflatable and malleable devices. These will be reviewed in subsequent weeks.
Published On: March 09, 2007