Penile Implant Effectively Cures Man’s Erectile Dysfunction
December 06, 2022
“Brian” is a 66-year-old Shaker Heights resident who has worked as a surgical technologist for over 40 years. He’s been with his current girlfriend for 15 years.
Brian was in his mid-fifties when he was diagnosed with both type 2 diabetes and erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. Certain health conditions can cause ED, among them diabetes, heart disease, obesity and high cholesterol. In Brian’s case, his late-diagnosed diabetes was the cause of his ED.
Like most men with newly diagnosed ED, Brian initially tried correcting the condition using the least invasive treatment options. Unfortunately, the oral medications Brian tried didn’t work well for him and caused headaches and other bothersome side effects. Next, Brian tried a medication that had to be directly injected into his penis. Though the injections worked for a time, Brian eventually had to stop them due to uncomfortable side effects, including an incidence of priapism; priapism is an unwanted, often painful erection that lasts for hours.
Last year, Brian made an appointment with Aram Loeb, MD, a urologist at UH Urology Institute who is fellowship-trained in prosthetic surgery. Dr. Loeb suggested that Brian get a penile implant (also called a penile prosthesis), a device that is surgically placed inside the penis to allow a man with ED to achieve and maintain an erection. Penile implants are typically recommended only after other ED treatments have failed.
“As a surgical tech,” says Brian, “I’d helped prep for penile prosthesis implantations in the past, so I was familiar with the procedure and knew it was safe and had a high success rate.”
The most common penile implant is the inflatable type. Inflatable implants generally consist of three components: paired cylinders implanted in the erectile tissue of the penis, a pump inserted in the scrotum and a fluid reservoir placed in the pelvis. All these parts are well-concealed beneath the skin. With an inflatable implant, the user simply presses a button to “inflate” the cylinders with fluid from the reservoir, which results in an erection. “Deflating” the mechanism brings the penis back to a flaccid state.
In February 2022, Dr. Loeb implanted an inflatable penile prothesis into Brian. Following a recovery period of about two weeks, Brian was able to resume sexual activity.
While Dr. Loeb had assured Brian the implant would likely be very successful in treating his ED, Brian and his girlfriend were surprised at just how well it worked. In fact, Brian describes the effectiveness of his implant as “astronomical” and “life-changing.”
“My implant works so well,” Brian says, “that my girlfriend says I have an ‘unfair advantage’ over other men.”
He adds, “If you have ED and the other treatments have not worked, I highly recommend getting implant surgery. For my girlfriend and I, the procedure has brought us closer together and greatly increased our happiness.”
Dr. Loeb is a member of University Hospitals’ Male Infertility & Sexual Health Program, which offers leading-edge treatments to help restore fertility and sexual health in men. The program’s talented team of experts also includes Nannan Thirumavalavan, MD, a fellowship-trained urologist experienced in penile prosthesis implantation and other genitourinary surgery techniques.