Penile Implant (Penis Prosthetics) – Cost/Side Effect and Use

penile implants

If you mention erectile dysfunction in a room that is full of guys, you are bound to be met with dead silences and uncomfortable glances. This is because the statistics claim that 1 out of every 2 men above the age of 40 years is known to suffer from ED, but the interesting is that no one wants to talk about it. The first line of treatment for erectile dysfunction is, of course, prescription pills that can be obtained over the counter. But, when pills fail to work, there is no instant fix to the problem. Penile implants then come to rescue.

Table of Contents

  • What are Penile implants?
  • Advantages of Penile Implants
  • Types of Implants
  • Pros and Cons of implant types
  • Results
  • Side Effects of Penile Implant Surgery
  • Money Matters
  • The cost of the prosthesis itself
  • Surgical location and anesthesia
  • Surgeon’s Fee
  • Insurance Cover
  • What is sex using an implant like?
  • How to avoid Erectile dysfunction?
  • Final Word

What are Penile implants?

Penile implants or penile prosthetics are medical devices that are tailor-made and surgically placed in the penis that helps in producing natural feeling and natural looking erection.

Advantages of Penile Implant

Here are some of the reasons why people consider going for a penile implant:

1)Patient Satisfaction Rates

Studies have shown that 93.8% of men are partially or completely satisfied with their penile prosthesis choice. This satisfaction percentage is far higher than that observed with injection therapy (40.9%) or prescription pills (51.6%).[1]


2)A Discrete Treatment for ED

The main advantage of penile implant is that it is not visible when the penis is flaccid. Your partner will never know that you have an implant unless you tell them.

3)Minimal Recovery Time

Although every man is different, but the time taken for recovery after a penile implant is 4- 6 weeks. After the recovery time, you can start enjoying sex again.

4)Insurance Coverage

When a penile implant is prescribed by a physician, most of the insurance plans cover it.

Types of Implants

You can find a variety of penile implants to choose from. As per your needs and requirements, you can choose a penile implant. Some of the facts that you and your physician should consider before going for penile implant are as follows:

  • ages of man and his partner
  • body size and weight
  • history of previous abdominal or pelvic surgery
  • size of the penis, glans, and scrotum
  • history of kidney transplant
  • overall health and well-being
  • presence of colostomy
  • whether or not the penis is circumcised
  • life expectancy

Following are the main three types of penile implants [2]

1. Three-piece inflatable pump

In a three-piece inflatable pump, two cylinders are placed in the penis, an inflatable pump in the scrotum and a container filled with fluid in the abdomen. Using a special tubing, these components are connected together.

When you squeeze the pump placed in the scrotum, there is a movement of the fluid from the container into the cylinders, resulting in an erection. By squeezing the release valve, fluid moves out from the cylinder into the container, thereby making it flaccid. The erection feels natural and the implant is comfortable even when it is flaccid.

three piece inflatable pump

2. Two-piece inflatable

A two-piece inflatable pump is similar to three-piece inflatable device and functions in the same way. The only difference is that in a two-piece inflatable device the fluid filled container is kept inside the scrotum within the pump. However, the only disadvantage with a two-piece inflatable device is that it is not as rigid as a three-piece implant.

two piece inflatable

3.Semi-rigid or malleable rods

In this type, a surgeon implants two flexible rods in the penis. There is no change in the size or rigidness of penis with this implant and it is always maintained in a semi-rigid state. However, they can be given different positions easily. These implants can be easily bent downward and straightened in an upward position at the time of sexual intercourse.
Even though these rods are extremely easy to use, the constant rigid state is very uncomfortable for many men.[3]

semi rigid or malleable rods

Pros and Cons of implant types

When you go for penile implant, there are a few things you and your doctor need to consider. Here we give you pros and cons of the penile implants.

Type of penile implant Pros Cons
Three-piece inflatable
  • Creates the most rigid and natural erection
  • Provides flaccidity when deflated
  • Higher chances of implant parts malfunction than other type of implants
  • Needs a reservoir inside the abdomen
Two-piece inflatable
  • Provides flaccidity when deflated
  • Mechanically it is more complicated as compared to semirigid implant
  • Less firm erections than a three-piece implant
Semirigid rod
  • Has decreased chances of malfunction as the number of parts is less
  • Extremely easy to use for people with limited manual or mental dexterity
  • Penis is always slightly rigid
  • There is a constant pressure on the inside of the penis that can result in injury
  • Semi rigid erection can be difficult to conceal with clothes


Even though penile implants are very invasive and are not commonly chosen by men for managing erectile dysfunction, the level of satisfaction is quite high. There is a 60-80% chance of survival of a 10-year device.

Side Effects of Penile Implant Surgery

Some of the side effects observed with penile implant surgery are as follows:

  • Infection
  • Erosion of the implant through the skin, small intestine colon and urethra
  • Mechanical failure of the implant
  • Injury to an artery or vein of lower extremity
  • Severe pain (temporary) in the surgical area
  • After surgery, loss in ability to have a spontaneous erection
  • There is a risk of complications from existing heart problems, as with all surgical procedures
  • Complications due to anesthesia like phlebitis or contracting pneumonia, when surgery is done under general anesthesia.
  • Further surgery if there is a complication or dissatisfaction with the implant

Money Matters

The entire cost of penile implant can be broken up into 3 parts:

1. The cost of the prosthesis itself

The type of penile implant determines the cost of the prosthesis. A non-inflatable penile prosthesis is less expensive than an inflatable 3-piece penile implant.

2. Surgical location and anesthesia

As per the complexity of the operation, the cost of performing a penile prosthesis surgery is determined. The cost of inserting a penile implant in a person with Peronei’s disease or severe scarring will be more. The room in which the operation will be performed also determines the cost of penile implant, when the procedure is performed in a surgical center, it costs less than when it is done at a hospital.

However, if you have diabetes, cardiac problem, renal failure or any other dangerous disease, it will be much safer if the surgery is performed in a hospital. Others might have their surgery in an outpatient surgical center which will help in bringing down the cost considerably.

3. Surgeon’s Fee

The total package of the surgeon placing the implant generally includes the follow-up postoperative care. Without a health insurance, a penile implant might cost somewhere between $15,000 to as high as $35,000.

Insurance Cover

Most of the insurance companies cover the cost of penile implants. However, the medicines used for treating erectile dysfunction might not be covered by insurance. However, the cost of surgery will be covered by the insurance companies.

insurance cover

What is sex using an implant like?

When the implant is moved into position or inflated, its girth and stiffness have the same feel as that of a normal penis. However, there are a few men who say that the implant did not make their erections last as long as they hoped it to last. This issue has been addressed by some of the newer implants. Another problem that was faced with implanted penile prosthetics was the fact that the head of the penis did not become hard.

Sexual intercourse with penile implant did not feel any different, neither did it affect the man’s ability to ejaculate or experience an orgasm.

what is sex using an implant like

How to avoid Erectile dysfunction?

Here we give you a few points by which you can prevent erectile dysfunction
Eat a healthy diet, with large servings of fruits and vegetables. Avoid anything that is bad for your heart as whatever is bad for your heart is also bad for your penis.

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in control
  • Consume alcohol in limited quantities or not at all
  • Have regular exercise
  • Keep a check on your testosterone levels
  • Stop smoking altogether
  • Try not to indulge in risky sex
  • Avoid anabolic steroids
  • Say goodbye to stress
  • Do not rely completely on Kegels

how to avoid erectile dysfunction

Final Word

Penile implant is an option for men with erectile dysfunction when pills do not show any effects. It is a safer option and more people should opt for it for a healthy and satisfying sex life.