LIFESTYLE

The Prosthetic Penis: How Tech Can Make Men Bionic In The Bedroom

According to experts, no one will notice during sex unless you tell them.

05/12/2016 15:58 SAST | Updated 05/12/2016 19:20 SAST
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Ever wondered how a prosthetic penis works? How does it impact on erections, orgasms, and can it really be eight inches long? 

What Is A Prosthetic Penis?

There are two primary types of penile prosthetics - the non-inflatable device and the inflatable device.  

Non-inflatable: This is a semi-rigid device that consists of malleable plastic rods implanted into the ‘erection chambers’ of the penis. These can then be manually bent into a straight position when required for penetration.

To have an erection, you only need to hold the penis and move it into the desired position. When you are finished you return the penis to the previous position. But with this type of implant, the penis is always at least semi-rigid (because the rods cannot be completely folded inwards) and therefore it may be more difficult to conceal in tight clothing. 

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Inflatable:  A hydraulic, inflatable prosthetic penis has inflatable plastic cylinders instead of rods, placed in the erection chambers. These inflatable cylinders fill with water when the man uses a pump - located in the scrotum - for inflation and subsequent deflation.

The water for giving an erection is stored in a reservoir chamber in the abdomen, and this moves down to the penis when the pump is squeezed. The patient can then control the firmness by pumping until satisfied with the erection.

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Why Do People Get A Prosthetic Penis?

There are lots of reasons why people choose to have a penile implant, but one of the main reasons is suffering with erectile dysfunction. 

The NHS estimates that erectile dysfunction is a very common condition: 50% of all men between the ages of 40 - 70 will have it to some degree.

ED is primarily treated by tackling the cause of the problem, whether this is physical or psychological. But continued problems and treatment-resistant ED, that may be the result of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pelvic trauma, prostate cancer, can be treated with physical surgery.  

So if a patient has already tried tablets, injections, urethral pellets and vacuum devices with an insufficient or unsatisfactory response, the NHS suggests this is when it might be considered as an option. 

What Happens During Prosthetic Penis Surgery?

The British Association of Urological Surgeons says that this procedure is carried out either under general anaesthetic (where you are asleep during the procedure) or a spinal anaesthetic (where you are awake but unable to feel anything from the waist down).

The prosthesis will be inserted into the penis through an incision made at the junction of the penis and scrotum. 

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What Are The Risk And Side Effects? 

According to the NHS the most common side effect is temporary swelling and bruising of the penis that may last for several days.

Less common side effects include bleeding or infection, nerve injury with temporary or permanent numbness of the glans, drooping of the glans, which may need surgical correction, the glans no longer filling with blood during sexual stimulation leading to a soft glans or auto-inflation of the prosthesis.

Is A Phalloplasty The Same As A Prosthetic Penis?

A phalloplasty is the complete construction or reconstruction of a penis, by surgery, rather than just enlarging or aiding of erectile dysfunction in an otherwise normal penis.  

Phalloplasty can be performed on patients who have congenital anomalies such as micropenis (an unusually small penis), epispadias (when the uretha ends in an opening on the upper side of the penis) or hypospadias (where the uretha opening is further down the shaft).

Phalloplasty is also most commonly used during gender reassignment surgery for transgender patients. This involves taking donor skin (usually from the patient’s forearm or chest) to create a new penis. 

Does A Prosthetic Penis Affect The Length Of A Penis? 

There are some reports that an implant can shorten or lengthen the penis, but the Advanced Urological Care Board, says that the size of a flaccid and erect penis with an implant depends on several factors.

When flaccid, a penis with an implant can appear longer and wider as the cylinders prevent it from fully retracting. 

However, a 2014 study reported on a group of twenty men with inflatable implants, and found that after surgery, 70% of the men had length decreases that ranged from 0.5 centimeters to 1.5 centimeters.  

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Does A Prosthetic Penis Have Feeling?  

With a penile implant, sensitivity and ability to ejaculate are not affected, because the implant is put within the penis and does not interfere with the sensitive external areas. You should be able to have an orgasm with a penile implant if you were able to have one before your procedure.

And in phalloplasty the sensation in the genitalia is retained through the clitoral tissue at the base of the neophallus, and surgeons often attempt to graft nerves together from the clitoris or nearby.

Will People Notice The Penis Implant? 

Experts say that because the implant is completely placed inside your body, no one will see the implant. In fact, no one will know unless you tell them.