It wasn't supposed to happen. I had double nerve sparing surgery. Based on my pre-surgical sexual history my Surgeon assured me I'd have a return of return of erectile functioning. To insure this would happen I got involved in a penile rehab program which included penile injections. When they stopped working I switched to daily ED medication.
At three years post surgery my success rate with ED meds was no better than 50%. Even then erections didn't last very long. By fours nothing working and I found myself facing the rest of my life impotent. This outcome was totally unexpected and certainly unwelcome. I was prepared to give up sexual intercourse for the rest of my life.
I began doing research on penile implants. What I learned surprised me. Penile implants are the most successful way to treat ED. Additionally they have the highest user satisfaction rates than any other form of treatment. Satisfaction rates in studies of men who've had penile implants run in the range of 85% -to 97%.
I made an appointment with a Urologist at UCSF who performed penile implants. When we discussed the where I landed four years post surgery, he was very supportive of my decision to have an implant.
Here are my thoughts feelings and experiences about my penile implant activation. I was very embarrassed to lay on the exam table while my surgeon demonstrated how to pump and deflate the implant.
1. At the advice of many men, I took Tylenol 1 hour before my appointment to help with any pain associated with using the pump for the first time.
2. I tried many times at home to squeeze the pump. It required more pressure than I was comfortable using. I'm glad I didn't activate the pump. You should NOT use the pump unless you are certain you know how to deflate it. I had no clue how to deflate the implant.
3. You may be very sore. Most men are left semi-inflated during the 6 weeks post surgery. I had one specific stop where the tip of the implant put a lot of pressure on my penis. It was a relief when I experienced total deflation.
4. The pump starts off very difficult to squeeze and takes a lot of pressure. I was only able to get 4-5 pumps before it got too hard to pump more
5. I'm glad I was prepared before surgery about the loss in size. I lost about an inch.
6. It was a very good thing my wife learned how to inflate and deflate the pump. When we tried the implant for the first time, I was completely unable to find the deflate button. My wife learned that the implant was facing sideways so the deflate button was not where I expected it would be. If my wife didn't learn how to deflate the implant I would have needed to drive back to San Francisco the next day to have my surgeon deflate the implant.
7. After a few days of use my wife and were enjoying our sexual experiences together as much as we did before my prostate was removed.
6. I find the implant to be light years better than penile injections.
7. My wife and I look forward to enjoying many years of making love. Both of us feel very grateful to re-experience what we thought was lost forever.
To those men who feel the don't want to go within a mile of another surgeon, don't let your past experiences cheat you of having a procedure that restores your sex life. Getting the implant was the best decision I've made after I didn't regain erectile functioning. I feel completely restored.
Implants have the highest satisfaction rate than any other form of treatment for ED. That said, this type of surgery is not a solution for everyone. For anyone coping with ED, the implant is an option worth exploring.
Rick Redner and his wife Brenda are the authors of an awarding winning book written to help men and couples cope with life without a prostate. I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where’s Yours? can be previewed and purchased at
If you'd like to ask me a personal question about penile implants you can reach me at:
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