Commonly used inflatable prostheses include the Titan inflatable implants (Colopast) or the AMS 700 series 3-piece inflatable implant.
Inflatable prosthesis makes a lot of sense for many patients. Once implanted, unlike malleable prostheses, the penis has a normal appearing flaccidity. This makes sense to many patients especially since the flaccid (non-erect state) accounts for more than 98% of the time. The prosthesis is also totally concealed. Inflatable models also have more girth and length options for the surgeon to implant, resulting in a more natural appearing erection. Lower rates of erosion are also reported due to the penis being in a “resting” flaccid state without constant outward pressure being applied to various parts of the penis, such as that which occurs with a malleable device.
However, not all patients are a candidate for inflatable models as manual dexterity is required in order to activate/deactivate the pump. Unique to these devices is the possibility of malfunction or failure of the pump mechanism. With the newer models, failures are a very uncommon occurrence, but this possibility should still be discussed with your surgeon.
These prostheses consist of 3 individually implanted components. Each corpora cavernosa (the right and left erectile bodies of the penis) are implanted with an inflatable cylinder. A reservoir that holds fluid that results in rigidity is surgically placed behind the abdominal wall below the level of the umbilicus (belly button). A pump mechanism is placed in the scrotum, and then all 3 parts are connected. When the pump mechanism is activated, the fluid from the reservoir is transferred to the erectile bodies creating an erection. After utilizing the erect penis the pump is then released, resulting in the transfer of the fluid back to the reservoir.
One advantage of the 700 series prosthesis is the use of an antibiotic impregnated silicone. Two antibiotics, Rifampin and Miocycline are incorporated into the device, creating a zone of inhibition against infection causing bacteria. The 700 series cylinders are made of a substance that reduces friction and wear of the silicone surfaces resulting in increased durability. A new pump design with a more compact design and ridges that are easy to feel make inflation and deflation easier than previous models. Lock out valves have also been included which prevents auto-inflation of the device.
Given high rates of patient and partner satisfaction, and technological advances that have been made with these devices, inflatable prostheses should be considered by patients who are interested in those considering a penile prosthesis.
Published On: March 26, 2007