The Pros and Cons of Penile Implants Explained

Penile Implants (Featured Image)

The Pros and Cons of Penile Implants

Article Overview

If you’re suffering from severe erectile dysfunction and the likes of penis pumps and Viagra just aren’t doing it for you any more, then it might be time to consider penile implants. In this article I’ll cover the pros and cons of penile implants and help you decide where this surgical option is worth taking.

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Last updated Last updated 11 April, 2023

Penile Implants (Summary Image)

Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common health issues among men, especially in older age demographics. Most forms of it can respond to medicinal treatments, but some might not. Luckily, there’s a promising clinical procedure that’s more permanent and reliable: penile implants.

Penile implants provide complete control over an erection. It takes about 25 seconds to get an erection through penile implants, and it lasts as long as one needs it to. It can help with ED that doesn’t respond to medicines. Some cons include high costs and a recovery period after the procedure.

There are countless benefits of penile implants, and it’s a life-changing solution for people with a severe case of erectile dysfunction. However, like most other healthcare treatments, it has potential side effects. Let’s find out if the cons outweigh the pros.

Letter W IconWhat Are Penile Implants?

There are several types of penile implants, but they all fulfill the same purpose of providing control over your erections. Before getting into their pros and cons, let’s look at the basics of what penile implants are.

A penile implant is a device involving cylinders that go into the penis area. They allow erectile dysfunction (ED) patients to get an erection as needed. It consists of a reservoir and a pump added to the lower abdomen area and scrotum, which carries fluid and inflates or deflates the penis.

The most common reason for getting penile implants is erectile dysfunction, but that’s not the only health issue they help with. They also help treat ischemic Priapism, Peyronie’s disease, traumatic injuries to the penis, along with some other rare diseases.

It’s best to consider both ends of the spectrum before getting surgical penile implants. Let’s discuss some of their major pros and cons.

Letter P IconPros of Penile Implants

Here are some of the pros of getting a penile implant.

Provides Complete Control Over Erections

As an erectile dysfunction patient, an individual has little to no sexual activity. That’s because of the disability to obtain and maintain a healthy erection for sexual intercourse. Penile implants provide a solution that provides patients with complete control over erections.

An erection is naturally obtained in a healthy individual by increased blood flow to the penis due to sexual stimuli. Since erectile dysfunction patients cannot get a natural erection due to psychological or physiological issues, penile implants function on a similar principle.

Instead of blood, penile implants use a fluid pump that can inflate and deflate the penis on demand, and when the patient needs it. The implant provides complete control over the erection, which means you can obtain it in about 25 seconds, and it won’t go away unless you want it to — even post-orgasm.

The fluid will flow out of the cylinders and return the penis to its flaccid state when not in use.

High Success Rate

The idea of an implant getting inserted into the penis area might sound uncomfortable and scary. However, even though it’s a complex surgical procedure, the success rates are very high. According to Cleveland Clinicexternal link icon, 90 to 95% of penile implant surgeries are successful.

High Patient Satisfaction Rates

The most reassuring statistic about penile implants is the procedure’s impressively high patient satisfaction rates. 80 to 90% of men who’ve gone through penile implant surgery report being satisfied with the results.

Moreover, partners and patients with penile implants regarded prosthetic erections as ‘satisfactory’ in 98% of casesexternal link icon and ‘excellent’ in 83% of the cases.

These numbers are awe-inspiring and prove how big of an impact penile implants have had on the sexual lives of patients and partners dealing with ED or other sexual health disorders.

Lasts Up to 2 Decades

These implants last up to 20 years or more, making them a pretty long-term solution for ED and similar diseases. Since most men experience erectile dysfunction at older ages, an implant’s lifespan of 15 to 20 years means they might not have to get it replaced.

About 70% of menexternal link icon experience some level of erectile dysfunction by the age of 70, in which case a penile implant would successfully cover them for life.

Can Straighten the Penis

As mentioned above, these implants can not only treat erectile dysfunction but also many other sexual health disorders in men. They can also provide relief from an abnormal curvature of the penis, which is often caused by Peyronie’s Diseaseexternal link icon.

Easy To Operate

Penile implants make it as seamless as possible to get an erection whenever the patient needs it. All they need to do is pump the fluid into the cylinders in the penis using the pump bulb, which takes about 25 seconds to obtain a complete erection.

After that, patients can sustain the erection as long as they need to. Since everything is mechanically controlled, the erection doesn’t rely on an orgasm. To return the penis to its flaccid state, the patient releases the valve located inside the scrotum, and the fluid flows out of the cylinder and into the reservoir.

Can Slightly Increase Penis Length

Penile implants can lead to slight growth of the penis size due to several minor changes that take place over time. For instance, since the implant helps eliminate curvature of the penis (Peyronie’s Disease), the patient gains an extra centimeter or two. Moreover, regularly inflating the implant might lead to stretching and some growth in penis size over the years.

You Save Up on Pills

The upfront costs of this procedure might be high, but it pays for itself over the years as it’s a permanent solution that doesn’t rely on medicines.

Medicines for erectile dysfunction might not seem costly, but it all adds up with time, depending on the amount of sexual activity a patient has. Since penile implants are pretty much a permanent fix for not getting or sustaining erections, you no longer have to spend money on injections or pills like Viagra.

You might also have to visit the doctor less often, further adding to the long-term cost savings you can have with penile implants.

Takes Anxiety Out of Sex

A person with erectile dysfunction can generally experience severe anxietyexternal link icon before, during, and after sex. Anxiety can further worsen the condition if a certain case of ED has psychological causes behind it.

Thanks to penile implants, patients no longer have to worry about their sexual performance and whether or not they’d be able to obtain and sustain an erection. They don’t have to go through the painful procedure of injecting the penis with a syringe, either.

Instead, all it takes is half a minute to get an erection, and it always works. They know that it won’t go away unless they release the valve, which helps with performance anxiety during sex.

Takes Pressure Off Partners

Partners of men with erectile dysfunction can sometimes experience similar levels of anxiety during or before sex. Without treatment, partners can feel significant pressure relating to their role in obtaining and maintaining an erection. A penile implant takes all of that out of the equation, providing couples complete control over it.

Post Orgasm Erection

With penile implants, men don’t have to worry about reaching orgasm too early as the erection has nothing to do with it. Natural erections don’t work that way, making it a valuable benefit of having penile prosthesis surgery.

No Effect on Physical Sensations

Lastly, you might be wondering if a surgical penile implant gets in the way of sexual intercourse ‘feeling good’ since it wouldn’t be a naturally obtained erection. However, in reality, the implant feels and behaves just like a natural erection.

Penile implants don’t affect the physical sensations associated with sexual intercourse, nor do they impact a person’s ability to ejaculate or orgasm.

Letter I IconCons of Penile Implants

Now, let’s go over the downsides of penile implants.

High Costs

One of the most significant downsides of undergoing a penile prosthesis is its upfront cost. In total, a penile implant in a package price along with all associated fees would add up to $16,000 to $19,000.

Depending on your health service program, surgery costs may or may not be covered in the United States. Medicareexternal link icon covers it in most cases where there’s an established medical cause of erectile dysfunction, whereas Medicaidexternal link icon doesn’t.

With that said, a penile implant might set you back up front but leads to long-term savings on pills and doctor visits.


While permanence of most healthcare treatments is often a good thing, it has a significant drawback in the case of penile prosthesis. Men will never be able to get an erection naturally upon receiving a surgical penile implant, regardless of whether or not it gets removed afterward.

It isn’t a major disadvantage for men who don’t see any positive or satisfactory results with their erectile dysfunction with pills, injections, or other treatments. In that case, a penile prosthesis is an ideal solution since the patient cannot get a satisfactory natural erection in the first place.

However, erectile dysfunction patients who can get natural erections with pills or such would have to let go of that forever — making it a pretty significant drawback.

Recovery Period and Mild Temporary Pain

After the surgery, patients will have to undergo an uncomfortable recovery period. It involves pain and swelling and can last for several weeks. Since the entire procedure is performed on one of the body’s most sensitive areas, some soreness and pain are natural after a penile prosthesis.

Surgeons will do their best to minimize the pain and discomfort in the patient’s recovery period by using surgical dressings and prescribing painkillers. However, the recovery period’s length depends on multiple factors and can vary between men, and only the surgeon can advise whether a patient has recovered enough to resume sexual activity.

Doctors also recommend resting the penis on the lower abdomen, pointing upwards (towards the belly button) for a few days after the surgery to avoid developing a downward curvature.

In about two weeks, patients need to revisit their surgeon to get stitches removed.

Dr. Nathan Starkeexternal link icon from Houston Methodist reports that in their practice, they generally wait for three weeks after the surgery to activate the implant if it’s ready for unrestricted use.

There’s a Chance of Malfunctioning

Even though penile prosthesis is a highly complex healthcare procedure, it all relies on a mechanical device. Like all other mechanical devices, a penile implant also has a risk of malfunctioning somewhere down the line. Though, the risk is pretty low, especially if you have a one-piece penile implant.

Fortunately, that’s not a major cause of concern in most cases. According to Dr. Starke, a urologist at Houston Methodist, a penile implant can break or malfunction, but it’s rare and only requires a short surgical procedure for correction.

There’s an Infection Risk

Penile prosthesis is considered a highly safe surgical procedure thanks to its impressively high success rates. However, it still has a risk of infection, though it’s very low. Dr. Starke from Houston Methodist and Utah-based urology specialist William Brant put the infection risk at about 1%.

With time, the procedure has become safer and safer as doctors use antibiotics and specialized surgical techniques to minimize the risk of infection. Modern penile implants also come with an antibiotic coating to prevent infection, making it a pretty negligible level of risk aside from unusual circumstances.

However, if and when an infection occurs, doctors may need to extract the implant and perform complex surgical procedures to rectify the situation, which leads to patient distress and high healthcare costs.

To minimize infection risks, patients should make sure that they choose a surgeon they trust, and it’s someone with a promising track record of successful penile prosthesis surgeries.

Having To Inflate and Deflate the Implant Regularly

Patients are advised to inflate and deflate the implant at least once or twice a day to maintain the device’s proper functioning — regardless of sexual activity.

It’s not just a temporary requirement for the initial period after getting a penile prosthesis. Instead, patients need to perform it indefinitely, which is an everyday chore even though it doesn’t take too long.

Doesn’t Last Forever

Even though a lifespan of 15 to 20 years is pretty extensive, it’s not permanent. Depending on the patient’s use and several other factors, implants might even need to be replaced in 10 years.

This means a patient has to relive all of the above disadvantages, including a high upfront cost, a risk of infection, and a painful recovery period.

Letter C IconTypes of Penile Implants

Not all penile implants are alike. Instead, it’s an umbrella term with a range of prosthetic implants that assist in obtaining and maintaining an erection. The most common types of penile implants are one-piece, two-piece, and three-piece ones — all having a unique mechanical design and functioning, with different pros and cons associated with them.

Let’s understand these types individually.

One-Piece Implants

One-piece implants consist of cylinders that go into a person’s penis area to help with obtaining an erection. A one-piece implant is the easiest to use, but it also comes with a few downsides compared to its two-piece and three-piece counterparts. The biggest drawback is a less natural-seeming erection.

On the other hand, one-piece implants also have the lowest level of malfunctioning risk amongst all types of penile prosthetics. Since the two-piece and three-piece ones add more parts to the device, there are higher chances of breaking, whereas one-piece implants follow a much simpler mechanism.

Two-Piece Implants

Two-piece implants also have semi-rigid cylinders placed in the penis area with another part added to the design — a pump. It’s inserted in the patient’s scrotum as an instrument to get an on-demand erection by pumping fluid into the cylinders.

Manually bending the penis drains the fluid back out of the cylinders and returns the penis to its flaccid state. These implants provide a firmer and more natural-feeling erection as compared to the one-piece ones.

Three-Piece Implants

Lastly, three-piece implants — they’re the most common type of penile implants in the US. They’re similar to the two-piece implants but provide an easier and more effective solution for deflating the penis.

With these, the same pump in the patient’s scrotum can also extract the fluid from the cylinders.

A reservoir is placed in the lower abdomen area that stores the fluid when the penis is flaccid.

Three-piece implants provide the firmest erections out of all three types. It also has many other advantages, including great flaccidity, as it can pull all of the fluid out of the cylinders and store it in the reservoir.

Most doctors, including urologist Dr. Brant, recommend getting a three-piece penile implant. However, every patient is different, so it’s best to follow your doctor’s advice on the type of penile implant you should get.

Letter C IconConclusion

Many erectile dysfunction patients swear by the effectiveness and positive health benefits of penile implants. They’ve been life-changing for men struggling with ED that don’t respond to pills or traditional treatment methods. However, surgical penile implants also have certain risks and downsides, and it’s essential to consider them carefully before making such an important decision.

This Content Was Written By...

Author & Site Owner | Website
Chris is the owner and creator of Penis Enlargement Resource. He has years of knowledge in the male enhancement niche and has tested and assessed numerous products over the years.

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Chris Sabian Author & Site Owner

Avatar of Chris Sabian

So I’m Chris Sabian, the creator and owner of the Penis Enlargement Resource website.

Now I’m going to be honest, I’m actually really happy with the size of my penis – i’ve never had any complaints, and it works exactly how it’s meant to.

That said however, I have worked for various companies and businesses within the men’s sexual health niche – it’s from these years of experience actually working on a number of different products that i have an absolute wealth of knowledge on what does and doesn’t work.

Yes natural penis enlargement IS possible but the amount of bullshit out there is phenomenal.

In some cases, even doctors don’t know what is truly possible, with many (especially in the US) simply prescribing treatment options that are the most profitable for their clinics!

The number of times I’ve seen adverts online for this miracle cure for erectile dysfunction, or a product claiming to give you 3 more inches in less than a month really does play in to the unrealistic and misguided view point of so many and that is why i created Penis Enlargement Resource – to stop the scare mongering and provide a completely unbiased view point on every product that passes my desk.

Yes! Every product i review i actually have possession of – i’m not simply writing reviews based on other generic online content, so if your reading a review and can’t see any unique photos or videos, chances are it’s just an affiliate marketer trying to make a quick buck off your insecurities.

So take a step back, read the articles I’ve written and see which products I’d REALLY recommend, so you can take that first step towards making your penis bigger, stronger or harder.

The journey to natural penis enlargement is not a fast process, it is not an easy process… but if you stick with it, i absolutely promise you, it IS possible.


This Content Was Written By...

Author & Site Owner | Website
Chris is the owner and creator of Penis Enlargement Resource. He has years of knowledge in the male enhancement niche and has tested and assessed numerous products over the years.

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Questions & Comments

2 Replies to “The Pros and Cons of Penile Implants Explained”

  1. I had a 3 pc. Coloplast Titan implant installed around 2015. I am not happy with it, nor have I used it. The two tubes responsible for the erection are painful when full due to the tips trying to protrude through the head of the penis. You can feel these tubes, uncomfortable when deflated, that feel like convoluted tubing when squeezing them. They almost feel like they are brittle. The pump, installed for a left handed person, I am right handed, is near impossible to squeeze. Try squeezing a lemon with two fingers, it is that hard. I am embarrassed having this implant and refuse to use it on a woman, fearing rejection and an unpleasurable experience. The next and most important thing, that is never brought up, is having MRI’s. If you are claustrophobic and can’t use the conventional MRI equipment, you can’t use most open MRI machines use to something called gauss. Any MRI machine that has a gauss over 740, and you have this implant, you’re schitt out of luck for an open MRI. 7 years with this unusable and painful implant, 7 years of embarrassment, 7 years I can’t get an open MRI. And I can’t find a urologist to remove it!

  2. I’m not a psychoanalyst, but I do speak English very well and reading between the lines in the previous Anonymous review of the Coroplast Titan does not ring true. There is a negative attitude pervasive throughout that writing. Use it ON a woman? How about use it WITH a woman. Last I checked sex is a partnership and he should talk it out where he might find someone eager to test it out with him. If I can get injections to find most women are curious to give it a go, then an implant is much less off putting! How can he say it is unusable when he has never tried it? Can’t get a doc to remove it? I wonder if his attitude might have something to do with that?

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