Penile Surgery: Risks & Realities

What to Know About Penile Surgery: Risks & Realities

While surgery should never be the first choice when it comes to erectile issues many men are frustrated by the apparent lack of options and end up turning to surgery to remedy symptoms. However, the surgical options aren't quite as effective as some believe, and alternate options can often be far more effective.

Let’s start with the types of penile surgery. There are several major forms of surgery that help to restore erectile function, with each option having its own advantages and drawbacks.

Penile Prosthesis Options

While there’s various kinds of penile prostheses available, from rod-based treatments to inflatable options, penile prosthesis surgery involves a prosthesis being surgically inserted into the penis to restore sexual function. This option works for most, but may put some off, with some prostheses significantly altering how the penis looks and feels.

The simplest type of prosthesis consists of a pair of malleable (bendable) rods surgically implanted within the erection chambers of the penis. With this type of implant, the penis is always semi-rigid and merely needs to be lifted or adjusted into the erect position to initiate sex. Today, many men choose a hydraulic, inflatable prosthesis, which allows a man to have an erection whenever he chooses and is much easier to conceal. It’s also more natural.

While this is a relatively common surgery, as with any surgery, there can be complications. A few common complications associated with penile implants include:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding after the surgery (possibly leading to re-operation)
  • Infection
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Erosion (tissue around the implant may break down)
  • Mechanical failure

Vascular Reconstructive Surgery

With blood flow to the penis being one of the major physical issues preventing people from gaining erections, this surgery is designed to bypass certain arteries, restoring the flow of blood to the penis. During the surgery, an artery from another muscle is transferred to one in the penis. This creates a path for blood to move around the problem area.

However, very few men are potential candidates for vascular reconstructive surgery, and extensive testing is required prior to undergoing this type of surgery. Additionally, there are very few medical centers that have experience in the management of vascular surgery for erectile dysfunction. It can also be expensive and is typically associated with a relatively high relapse rate.

Potential complications that might arise due to vascular reconstructive surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Scar tissue formation with distortion of the penis
  • Painful erections
  • Shortening or numbness of the penis

Non-Surgical Options

Considering the costs and potential risks of surgery, the majority of specialists will only recommend it as a last resort. Fortunately, there are several non-surgical penile implant options available for men who wish to improve the symptoms associated with erectile issues.

Vacuum pumps are a frequently overlooked way to regain the ability to gain or maintain an erection. When used, vacuum pumps create a vacuum around the penis, quickly drawing in blood, resulting in an erection.

Shop our selection of Vaxaid Pumps to see if one might be the right choice for your needs.

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