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Ther Adv Urol. 2010 Feb;2(1):35-40. doi: 10.1177/1756287209359174.

Penile prostheses.

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Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation - Urology, Andrology and Kidney Transplantation Unit, University of Bari, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy.


Penile prosthesis implantation is recognized as a valid option to obtain an artificial erection satisfactory for sexual intercourse in those patients in which a pharmacological approach is contraindicated or ineffective. Penile prostheses are subbject to continuous development and they are achieving ever better mechanical reliability and safety. The devices are divided into two general types: semirigid (malleable and mechanical) and inflatables. The AMSĀ® (American Medical Systems) and Coloplast LtdĀ® produce the majority of inflatable and semirigid devices.Malleable and mechanical prostheses have the disadvantage that the penis is always erect although it can be orientated in different ways, while the advantages are ease of use and the need for a simpler surgical procedure compared with inflatable prostheses. Three-component prostheses are more sophisticated than semirigid devices. The advantages of these devices are that the prosthesis feels softer than semirigid or two-piece devices when deflated, with a better cosmetic result, and it ensures a more natural erection than others kinds of prosthesis. The disadvantages are the possibility of malfunction and the need for a more complicated surgical technique. Implantation of a penile prosthesis can be performed in a short surgical time under locoregional anaesthesia, and for this reason hospitalization is usually brief and the patient can be discharged 2 days after the operation if complications are not evident. Patient and partner satisfaction reflect the quality and the effectiveness of this treatment. Even though the results are positive in the vast majority of patients, the possibility of several complications makes penile prosthesis implantation a delicate kind of surgery. Complications can happen when the operation is carried out, in the peri-operative and in the postoperative period, and include infections, erosions of the prosthesis and mechanical failure in case of inflatable prosthesis. Penile prostheses available on the market have improved the success of this kind of surgery, thanks to the introduction of new materials and designs.


erectile dysfunction; inflatable prosthesis; penile prosthesis; semirigid prosthesis

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