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What to Expect During Penile Implant Surgery

You'll be asleep during the surgery. Once you're sleeping, the urologist makes an incision (cut) on your genital area and inserts the implant into your corpora cavernosa (two tubes of tissue that fill with blood to give you an erection). At this point, your urologist customizes the implant to fit your penis.

For inflatable implants, your urologist inserts the saline reservoir into your abdomen and the pump inside your scrotum. Then, your urologist closes the incisions with stitches.

The surgery takes about 45–90 minutes, depending on the type of implant and surgical approach. You'll go home the same day as your surgery.

Infrapubic Surgical Technique

Our urologists often use the minimally invasive infrapubic surgical technique for penile implants. In this approach, your urologist makes one small incision in your pelvic area above your penis. Then, your surgeon places the implant through this single incision. Since there are no incisions in your scrotum, you can often begin using the pump sooner.

Follow-Up Care

Unless you have a complication, you'll see your provider for a checkup two or three weeks after surgery. You won't need to have your stitches removed because they dissolve in four to eight weeks.

Your urologist may ask you to inflate the implant daily for practice during the healing process. However, wait to inflate the device until your urologist says it's safe, and follow instructions for aftercare.

How to Prepare for Penile Implant Surgery

To have a successful procedure, it’s important to follow these pre-surgery instructions.

Five Days Before Surgery

Your provider should give you either Betasept or Hibiclens soap at your pre-operative appointment. These soaps can also be purchased at any local pharmacy without a prescription.

Follow the instructions below beginning five days prior to your surgery:

  • Wash your hair with regular shampoo and be sure to rinse your hair and body thoroughly to remove any shampoo residue. Rinse your body thoroughly with water from the neck down.
  • Apply your Betasept or Hibiclens soap directly on your skin and thoroughly wash from your neck to your knees, concentrating especially on your groin area, including your lower abdomen, genitals, and the front and back of your inner thighs.
  • Rinse well with warm water.
  • Do not use any other soap, body wash, or shampoo after applying and rinsing your Betasept or Hibiclens soap.
  • Put on freshly laundered clothing after showering or bathing.

The Night Before Surgery

Our staff will call you one business day before your surgery to give you an arrival time. We will review your prep instructions, which are also listed below.

You may also contact the pre-operative staff for your arrival time between 2-5 pm one business day before your surgery.

Call 801-213-4891 if your surgery is at South Jordan Health Center.
Call 801-585-1449 if your surgery is at University of Utah Hospital.

Pre-Surgery Instructions

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your surgery. This includes chewing tobacco, gum, and mints. You may brush your teeth without swallowing any water.
  • Arrange for a ride home with an adult.
  • Remove contact lenses or bring your lens case.
  • Leave any valuables at home or with family.
  • Arrange to check in for surgery at your arrival time.
  • Bring your identification, insurance cards, and any applicable co-pay or deductible payment with you to check in.

Side Effects During & After Surgery

You will be hospitalized overnight for this procedure. After surgery, you will have a small catheter in place to help you empty your bladder, which can cause discomfort and blood-tinged urine (pink or reddish). Your dressing may also have dried blood on it. People react differently to surgical procedures, but most men experience the symptoms below.

Day of Procedure

  • Bruising and mild bleeding from the incision
  • Possible bruising and pain at the IV site
  • Possible pain at the operative site, bladder, and urethra

24 to 48 Hours After Procedure

  • Swelling and pain that is worse than it was the day before
  • Possible persistent bladder and urethral discomfort
  • Possible trouble initiating the urinary stream

72 Hours After Procedure

  • Increased swelling and bruising of the penis
  • Possible pain/sensitivity of the scrotum/testicles
  • Possible pain in the lower abdomen

Surgery Risks

Infection is the most significant risk of penile implant surgery. However, only about 1–2% of patients experience this complication.

We coat modern implants with an antibiotic material that prevents bacteria from sticking to the device before surgery. Our team also uses other techniques to minimize the risk of infection before and during the operation.

Some medical conditions increase the risk of infection:

  • Diabetes, especially if blood sugars are consistently high
  • Revision surgeries or surgeries that require the surgeon to remove extensive scar tissue
  • Spinal cord injury

Implants are safe if you need to have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the future. But you should always inform your other health care providers that you have an implant so that they can assess other risks.

Contact Us

Call our urology clinic at 801-587-1454 if:

  • Your pain is not adequately controlled with medication.
  • You cannot urinate for more than eight hours.
  • You experience strong chills or a fever of 101.5°.
  • Your pain increases at the operative site, especially more than a week after surgery.
  • You have drainage/pus at your operative site or near it, especially if parts of the implant can be seen through the skin.
  • You cannot work the pump to deflate it six weeks after surgery.

If you feel you have a problem that is an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department, immediately.

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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