Penile Implants Deflate Worries About Erectile Dysfunction

If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, you aren’t alone. In fact, it is a brotherhood that goes back centuries. The Old Testament describes an aging and ailing King David’s bout with a lack of heat (a.k.a. erectile dysfunction). The ancient Egyptians used an ointment made from baby crocodile hearts and wood oil as a treatment for ED. And the ancient Hindus believed eating the testes of a goat could cure ED. 

Modern man put his own spin on the ED dilemma. In the 1920s, a Kansas physician named John R. Brinkley advertised expensive goat-gland implants and “mercurochrome” injections on the radio as ways treat erectile dysfunction—until the Kansas State Medical Board revoked his license. Undeterred, he moved his operation to Mexico where he continued to provide hopeful patients with treatment for ED. In the 1970s, inflatable penile implants were introduced by surgeons. But things changed dramatically in 1983 when British physiologist Giles Brindley shocked the audience at an American Urological Association conference when he dropped his pants to reveal his erect penis just minutes after he had injected it with a vasodilator, alpha-blocking agent. His discovery eventually led to the creation of Viagra, Cialis and other prescription pills commonly used today in the treatment for ED.

While there is no question that modern-day pharmacology has helped millions of men overcome erectile dysfunction, it’s important to know that oral medications don’t work for everyone. “Oral medications aren’t effective for about 30 percent of men with ED,” says Gary Price, M.D. a board-certified urologist with Urology Associates of North Texas and USMD Hospital at Arlington. “With more than 30 million American men unable to maintain an erection, that translates into about nine million men who don’t respond to oral medications. Do you have to live with ED? No. Nearly every man can be successfully treated.”

Treatment for ED includes a variety of options—vacuum erection devices, urethral suppositories, penile injection therapy and penile implants. Once cumbersome and awkward, penile implants have come a long, long way from the goat-gland implants hocked by John Brinkley or the crude models introduced in the 1970s to combat erectile dysfunction. Today, a state-of-the-art, three-piece inflatable implant can be totally concealed within body. Most importantly, the implant can be discreetly inflated and deflated on demand via a squeezable pump that is placed in the scrotum. The pump controls the flow of fluid from a small reservoir implanted next to the bladder to a pair of inflatable cylinders in the penis. The fluid actually inflates the implant.

“When the implant is inflated, the penis expands in length and girth, and has the rigidity and appearance of a natural erection,” says Dr. Price. “When it is deflated, the implant is soft and flaccid and totally concealed within the body. And unlike oral medications for ED, an implant lets the wearer decide when he wants to have an erection and how long he wants it to last.”

Of course, as with any surgical procedure, there are some risks. A mechanical failure or infection could require that the implant be removed. But the benefits seem to far outweigh the risks—especially for men who have tried other types of treatment for ED only to find they didn’t work. Wearers appreciate that they can be spontaneous with their partners and have sex when the mood strikes. They also like the natural way the implant feels during intercourse, and that it doesn’t interfere with orgasm. In fact, 92 percent of wearers and 90 percent of their partners say they would recommend a penile implant to someone else.

With so many benefits, it’s easy to understand why more than 300,000 men who once suffered from erectile dysfunction have chosen penile implants as their preferred treatment for ED. If you’d like to know more about penile implants or other treatment options for erectile dysfunction, please call 888.444.USMD for a FREE physician referral.  


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