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An Alternative, Long-term ED Solution

Today, we have a wide variety of options available to treat erectile dysfunction, whether it is pills, penile injection therapy, vacuum erection devices, urethral suppositories, or other investigational alternative therapies. For the right person, any of these options can provide a solution to this common ailment.

However, all these treatments can come with an array of side effects or may not allow for spontaneity between partners. An ED treatment option that solves both (side effects and spontaneity) issues is the penile implant. Now, you might not have heard of penile implants before, but they have been around for many years, and there's been quite a progression of development and improvement to these devices.

The modern penile implant is a 3-piece device placed entirely within the body. Once implanted, it is very difficult for others to see that you have a device inside you. As shown to the right, the 3-piece implant includes a pump that is discretely placed into the scrotum. The patient or their partner can squeeze and release the pump, which moves fluid into a pair of cylinders, or balloons, inside the penis to fill the penis and create an erection. The implant cylinder or balloons are placed into hollow spaces that are already naturally in the penis shaft. Once the erection is achieved, it will last until the patient and their partner finish, and then the implant can be deflated. This gives the patient and their partner 100% control over when the erection happens, how long the erection lasts, and in some cases, the firmness and rigidity of the erection.When surveyed, over 96% of patients and their partners were satisfied with the results of receiving a penile implant. The implant does not impact the nerves or the sensation to the tip or outside of the penis, so sexual activity will feel the same for you and your partner. The implant does not affect your ability to orgasm. All the implant does is allow the penis to be rigid and erect so that you can participate in sexual activity. Say you want to go on vacation. Everything you need is already with you. You don't have to take an extra supply of medication or anything. I tell my patients to expect it to be mechanically good for 10 to 15 years before it could mechanically wear out.

It is crucial to note implanting a 3-piece device is a procedure. It is a come-in-go-home-same-day procedure under light anesthesia. It takes about 45 minutes and patients usually return to their routine daily activities within 7-10 days following the procedure. At three weeks after surgery, you'll see my PA or I in the office, and we will teach you how to use the device. Within 4-6 weeks after surgery, most patinets are  independent, sexually active, and cleared to be intimate with your partner.

Overall, the penile implant is a great solution to ED that can help you avoid the lack of spontaneity or uncomfortable side effects that come with all the other ED treatment options. If you would like to learn more about this treatment, you can go to or visit my website,, to make an appointment with me.


J. Abram McBride, MD

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