The inflatable penile implants can be divided into two and three pieces implants. The difference is in the position of the reservoir with the liquid used to fill up the cylinders of the implant. With the two piece implants the reservoir is placed along with the pump in the scrotum while with the three piece implant, the reservoir in situated in the lower abdomen area.
The implants are controlled by a small pump placed in the scrotum. Several squeezes of the pump lead to filling the cylinders with fluid, resulting in an erection. After sexual intercourse, the implant is emptied by releasing the pump (by a release pad) and squeezing the fluid from the cylinders back into the reservoir in the scrotum.
Advantages of inflatable implants
- The inflatable implants allow a very natural appearance in the erected position as well as in the calm position. This brings a natural feeling and more self-confidence. Most women cannot recognize an inflatable implant from a natural penis.
- While not-inflated, the penis is naturally soft which brings a comfortable feeling.
- Since the inflateble cylinders may be deflated, the penile tissue does not get thinner.
- After the surgery, the penile implant is not inflated – the patient experiences minimum post-operative pain.
Disadvantages of inflatable implants
- The inflatable implants are more expensive.
- There is a need of some manual skills to use the pump and release pad.
- This surgery is more complicated than when malleable implants are used. Therefore it is not recommended for seriously ill patients, and those with a large history of pelvic area surgeries.
- Patients may experience more post-operative complications, especially those with bad blood sugar levels.