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Erectile Dysfunction FAQs (cont.)

What are penile implants?

Two types of devices are available, a semirigid and a multi-component inflatable system.

With the semirigid device, two matching cylinders are implanted into the penis. These devices provide enough rigidity for penetration and rarely break. The major drawbacks are the cosmetic appearance of the penis, the need for a surgery, and the destruction of the natural erectile mechanism when the device is implanted.

The inflatable devices consist of two cylinders inserted into the penis, a pump placed in the scrotum to inflate the cylinders, and a reservoir that is contained either within the cylinders or in a separate reservoir placed beneath the tissue of the lower abdomen. The inflatable prosthesis generally remains functional for 7 to 10 years before a replacement may be necessary.

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