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Penile Implants
One of the treatment options for erectile dysfunction is the placement penile prosthesis in penis. Different types of prostheses have been developed, and hundreds of thousands of men throughout the world have been successfully treated with penile implants.

Today there are three types of penile prostheses :- the semi-rigid implant, the inflatable implant and a self-contained inflatable implant.

Semi-rigid implants are paired, silicone-covered, malleable (bendable) metal rods. The semi-rigid prosthesis allows the penis to be rigid enough for penetration, but the malleable rods allow it to be flexible enough to allow concealment in a curved position. It is the simplest of all prostheses and has the least chance of mechanical failure. It is also the simplest to place.

One major limitation is that the penis is always semi-erect. Even thought it can bend, concealment is a potential problem when wearing some types of clothing. Another disadvantage is that the prosthesis does not inflate, so the erection achieved is only from the size and rigidity of the prosthesis.

Inflatable prostheses are the most natural of the implants. These are soft, paired inner tubes made of silicone or bioflex, which are inert plastics. The inner tubes are filled with a solution that comes from a small reservoir placed under the muscles of the abdomen. A pump is used to transfer the fluid from the reservoir to the penile cylinders (inner tubes). The more fluid that is pumped into the inner tubes, the firmer and larger the erection. When the erection is no longer desired, the fluid returns to the reservoir, leaving the penis soft and pliable.

A major advantage of an inflatable penile implant is a more natural erection with total patient control, both in the amount of fluid that is put into the penis and the time the erection is desired. The erection will last indefinitely until the patient transfers the fluid back into the reservoir. One major disadvantage is that the surgical implantation is a little more complicated than a simple semi-rigid implant. Also, with the multiple parts there is a higher chance of mechanical failure which might require revision or repair.

Self-contained inflatable implants are paired silicone cylinders which have a pump at the very tip of the prosthesis, along with a reservoir within the shaft that transfers fluid in such a way that the cylinder becomes firm.

The advantage of this type of prosthesis is that the surgery is somewhat simpler than the multi component prosthesis.
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