Men Are Generally Satisfied With Penile Implants

According to a mini survey done in Portugal, most men that get a penile prosthesis implant are happy with the benefits gained related to the psychological, sexual, and relational areas in their lives.

Those who suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) are generally good candidates for penile prosthesis implantation (PPI). This is a surgical procedure that is completed when a first and second line of treatment recommended by their physician does not work.

Through a telephone interview process, Dr. Ana Carvalheira and her associates at the University Institute in Lisbon gathered details about the levels of satisfaction those that had undergone PPI achieved. The data collected came from 47 different men who had 53 PPI surgeries between the years 2003 and 2012. The reasoning behind the satisfaction or dissatisfaction in the procedures was also documented during the interview.

The results of the telephone survey were reported online by the Journal of Sexual Medicine on December 7, 2015. There were 62% of the men with a reporting of very satisfied, 17% said they were satisfied, 4% were somewhat dissatisfied, and 11% said that they were very dissatisfied with their PPI surgery.

Some of the reasoning reported behind the men that said they were satisfied with their surgeries included a better achievement in vaginal penetration, an increase in erectile functioning, and more sexual satisfaction. Other satisfaction factors included a better self-esteem, high self-confidence levels, and an boost in self-image. Some gave a reasoning of being able to improve relationships through pleasing a partner and there were few mentions of better urinary functioning.

Unexpected expectations, no sexual relations, delayed and artificial ejaculation, member malfunctions, partner-related reasons, and a decrease in organ size were reported by those that stated they were unhappy with the PPI.

The men that obtained the PPI surgery in most cases, 62%, went ahead with the procedure as soon as it was recommended by their physician. 15% of the men waited around a month and 6% waited a year. 6% had waited three years before going in for surgery and 4% of the participants had waited over three years.

9% of those partners that were informed the procedure was taking place did not agree with the decision. However, 19% of the contributors did not tell their partner they were going through with the PPI surgery at all.

When it came to the cost of the surgery, 15% of the participants considered it to be reasonable. The rest of the men were split in half. Half thought the cost was high or very high and the other half did not have an opinion because their insurance covered part or the entire bill.

The researchers concluded that those that went under PPI were generally very satisfied with the results due to the positive changes made in relational, psychological, and sexual areas.

A doctor, who studies penile prosthesis placement, that did not take part in the survey from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Dr. Landon W. Trost, wrote in an email that he was not shocked by the findings of the study. He continued that many of the men think only about the sexual aspect of the PPI procedure without considering what other benefits can be gained. He said in his own practice it is common for his patients to keep their PPI devices even when they are no longer sexually active for the sole purpose of the psychological improvements.

He also documented that patients often get the device in hopes to improve their personal relationships only. The truth is that the purpose of the PPI is to increase firmness in the penis, not mend broken or weak connections between partners. He also pointed out that the men studied were part of a very select group of people because only those that are considered to be good candidates for the procedure are actually able to get something like this. Men who take more conservative routes like adding Viagra, Cialis, Stendra, or Levitra and other injection therapies as an ED treatment are not represented in the study.

Most men who reported that they were unhappy seem to be stating expectations that were not necessarily appropriate Dr. Trost said. Even with extensive consultation with patients about the purposes of the device and what it is capable of, some still have higher expectations than what can actually be achieved. Some of these are a restoration of more natural erection, a partner's sexual dysfunction being cleared up, a return to a previous penile length, and relationship improvements that have been caused by issues unrelated to sexual performance.

To wrap it all up, Dr. Trost stated that PPI devices are a good option for those patients that do not respond adequately enough to PDE5 inhibitors and penile injections, but they want to preserve their sexual functioning. He also recommends that doctors discuss with their patients all the obtainable benefits of penile implants including relational and psychological factors that coincide with the procedure. He was unavailable for further comments.