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What Is a Penile Implant?

A penile implant is a surgically inserted device that helps you achieve an erection. The implant treats erectile dysfunction (ED) and conditions like Peyronie's disease. You can resume sexual activity four to six weeks after penile implant surgery.

After implant surgery, your erection looks and feels natural. The implant does not change your sensation during sex or your ability to climax. The implant works in place of the erectile tissue that no longer functions.

Benefits of Penile Implants

Many men prefer implants to medications, and 90% of men and their partners report high satisfaction with the results of penile implants.

Implants benefit your life in several ways:

  • A more spontaneous sex life that requires no external devices or tools
  • Rigid erections for satisfying sexual activity
  • The ability to predict and control how long your erection lasts

Candidate Criteria for Penile Implants

Candidates for a penis implant have ED or a condition like Peyronie's disease that prevents an erection and doesn't improve with medication or other conservative treatments.

Average Age for Penile Implant

Most men who have penile implants are older than 45. However, younger men with health conditions that prevent them from achieving an erection may benefit from the procedure.

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How Does a Penile Implant Work?

diagram of a penile implant

A non-inflatable penile implant includes two silicone rods that stay firm all the time. Your urologist, a provider specializing in urinary and reproductive conditions, inserts the semi-rigid rods into your penis shaft during surgery. You will extend the rod away from your body when you want to use the implant. Then, to conceal your penis, you'll press it down toward your body.

An inflatable implant works differently. The device includes the following:

  • Two cylinders placed into the shaft of your penis
  • A pump positioned in your scrotum
  • A reservoir of saline in your abdomen at the base of your scrotum

When you squeeze the pump in your scrotum, saline moves into the cylinders, creating a rigid erection. The implant remains inflated as long as you want, even after climax. When you're ready, you will squeeze the pump again to return your penis to a flaccid, soft state.

What Does a Penile Implant Look Like?

Before your surgeon places it inside your body, the implant looks like two heavy-duty, oval balloons. Depending on the type of implant, the balloons may attach to tubing, a valve, or a plastic reservoir. After surgery, your body conceals any penile implant.

Penile Implant Types

There are two primary types of implants. Your provider will help you choose the best implant based on your goals.

Inflatable penile implant: A pump in your scrotum (the pouch of skin beneath your penis) moves saline (salt water) into your penis so you can get an erection.

Non-inflatable penile implant: Bendable silicone rods allow you to extend your penis into an erect position. Your provider may recommend this option if you cannot operate the pump with your fingers.

How Long Do Penile Implants Last?

Like any mechanical device, penile implants don't last forever. Modern implants usually last between 10–15 years. Some may continue to work after 20 years. If your implant fails, your urologist can replace it during a second surgery.

Penile Implant Cost

The cost of penile implants varies depending on the specific implant. In general, the surgery costs between $10,000 and $20,000 without insurance.

Does Insurance Cover Penile Implants?

Many health insurance providers cover the cost of the penile implant and surgery. Check with your health plan to find out if it's a covered benefit. If you don't have insurance or your plan doesn't cover the surgery, our specialists will work with you on costs and payment.

Does Medicare Cover Penile Implants?

Traditional Medicare covers penile implant surgery. Medicare Advantage plans may have different requirements, but many cover the procedure.

Can Penile Implants Increase Size?

A penile implant will not add length to your penis. Your urologist sizes the implant to your actual stretched penile length. The implant expands to the maximum size of your natural erection to fit your body comfortably.

While some men experience some penile shortening, true size is highly subjective. For example, men who have had erection problems for a long time might find it difficult to remember their erect penis size. A good marker of the expected size is taking the penis and stretching it comfortably but fully.

Common Concerns

Make an Appointment

Our team has performed hundreds of penile implant surgeries and is one of the most experienced practices in the Mountain West.

You do not need a referral from your primary care physician to schedule an appointment with us. However, your insurance provider may require a referral before you see a urologist. Contact your insurance carrier with questions about your plan's specific requirements.

Call 801-587-1454 to schedule an appointment with one of our urologists.

Meet Our Patients

Gene Miluk

The first time he experienced ED in his mid-50s he thought it was just a fluke, which was a reasonable assumption to make. More than half of men experience episodic erectile dysfunction at some time in their life from things like stress, too much alcohol, or as a side effect of medication. 

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