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Penis prostheses come in either a semi-rigid or inflatable form. Each type of device has its own set of pros and cons that a man should consider before choosing either as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Other than the obvious positive benefit of obtaining an erection, the prosthesis can be used as often and as long as desired and allows the patient to ejaculate and achieve an orgasm. Despite these positive benefits, there are several negatives that can be associated with having a prosthetic penis. These potential cons include the risk of scarring or injury during surgery, decreased penile dimensions and a complete loss of the natural ability to obtain an erection once the device is removed.
When measuring the pros and cons of a penis prosthesis it is important to take into consideration the differences between the two devices. A prosthetic penis that is semi-rigid, or malleable, is a bendable device that remains semi-firm at all times. Prior to intercourse the prostheses is bent upward and then bent downward following intercourse. The benefits of this type of penile prosthesis is that it is always firm and that unlike an inflatable prosthesis there are few mechanical parts that can fail during intercourse. Another major benefit of the malleable prosthesis is that it is less expensive than other implanted prosthetic devices.
The primary negative aspects of the malleable prosthesis is that it does not have a natural appearance. Because the penis is always semi-rigid, it never achieves a true flaccid appearance and may initially be uncomfortable. Manually raising and lowering the penis is another potential negative aspect that is associated with the malleable prosthetic penis. Over time this type of prosthesis may cause the skin to deteriorate or thin out.
The pros and cons differ somewhat when it comes to the inflatable penile prosthesis. A man with this type of prosthetic device will notice that his penis has a more natural appearance when flaccid or erect. The pump that is used to inflate the erection is hidden inside of the scrotum and is not visibly detectable beyond a few scars. Unlike the malleable prosthesis, the erection is not already in place, however it can be obtained quickly by using the hidden pump and can be maintained indefinitely until he decides to deflate it.
On the negative side, an inflatable prosthesis has numerous parts that make it susceptible to mechanical failure. As a result the device may need to be removed or replaced. Depending on the type of inflatable prosthesis, there may also be deterioration of the tissue and thinning of the skin over time.
One of the major attributes of either type of prosthetic penis is that it does not interfere with the amount of sensation felt during intercourse nor does it impede a man's ability to orgasm or ejaculate. Regardless of the type of penis prosthesis used, loss of length and width is often a common, negative side-effect of having a prosthesis. In addition, once either type of prosthesis is removed, a man will likely lose his ability to obtain an erection without implanting another device. This is a result of damage to the natural erection reflex. Penis implants also come with the usual risks of surgery, such as the possibility of bleeding, scarring or infection.