What is a penile prosthesis

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A penile prosthesis is an artificial device that, when placed in the penis, allows a man to have an erection. The development and use of penile prostheses began in the 1970s. Since then, numerous revisions and modifications in the prostheses have improved the satisfaction rate and mechanical durability of these devices.

The most commonly used is the three-piece prosthesis, which is comprised of two cylinders, a scrotal pump, and a separate reservoir that is placed in the pelvis (Figure 36). The advantage of the three-piece unit is that it allows for the maximal amount of fluid transfer given the larger reservoir size. Also, when placed correctly, the device and its tubing are completely concealed, so one is able to void in the locker room without anyone knowing that the multipart prosthesis is present. Multipart inflatable prostheses are made by American Medical Systems. Semirigid prostheses, although less popular, have less risk of mechanical problems (Figure 37). The semirigid prosthesis does not change in size, rather one simply bends the penis up or down for participation in intercourse.

Figure 36 Three-piece penile prosthesis.

Drawing of AMS 700CX™/CKM™ Penile Prosthesis courtesy of American Medical Systems, Inc., Minnetonka, MN (www.visitAMS.com).

Figure 36 Three-piece penile prosthesis.

Drawing of AMS 700CX™/CKM™ Penile Prosthesis courtesy of American Medical Systems, Inc., Minnetonka, MN (www.visitAMS.com).

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Figure 37 One piece, semi-rigid penile prosthesis.

Placement of a penile prosthesis requires extensive patient and partner discussion. It is not considered a first-line therapy in most cases of ED, but is an appropriate therapy for well-counseled individuals who have not responded to other therapies or who have found those alternatives to be unsatisfactory.

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