#1. I hate to lose. In other words, I strongly prefer to win. After my double-nerve-sparing robotic prostatectomy left me impotent, I did not want ED to be the cost of winning the war against my prostate cancer.
#2. I’m persistent. Long after others quit, or believe it’s hopeless, I’m still there plugging away.
#3. I find it difficult to take no for an answer. I consider the word “no” a starting point for negotiation.
Three months after my double-nerve-sparing prostate surgery, I asked to participate in a penile rehab program. I wanted to do everything I could to restore my erectile functioning, which had not returned three months post surgery.
For four long years, I fought to preserve my erectile functioning, until I flunked out of penile rehab. All treatment options stopped working. I was told I'd be impotent the rest of my life. No one told me about implant surgery. I had to find the option on my own. As I researched the topic, I was amazed and delighted to discover implant surgery had high levels of patient and partner satisfaction rates.
The findings of this study didn't make any sense. Researchers found that the number of men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction increased 165% over the 10-year study period, while the use of penile implants declined, with 4.6% of men with ED getting a penile implant in 2002 and 2.3% of men opting for an implant in 2010."
I believe there are three primary reasons men won’t opt for penile implant surgery:
*Unawareness -- many men with ED are not told or made aware implant surgery is an option.
*Financial concerns -- While Medicare covers implant surgery, many insurance companies will not pay for the procedure. If they do, a high deductible can make surgery unaffordable. I asked the hospital to accept monthly payments so I could pay my deductible over six months. If you are uninsured, there is a service that can provide you with a competitively priced surgery package as well as financing.
*Fear -- A significant number of men lose their erectile functioning as a result of prostate surgery. It’s unthinkable for many men to go back for another surgical consultation with the expectation that a surgical procedure will cure the damage another surgical procedure caused.
*Internet-induced fear -- I refused to go on YouTube to watch an implant procedure. I was concerned that if I viewed the procedure, I would come to the conclusion I didn't want a surgeon performing it on me. I'm glad I waited until I was home from the hospital before I watched the procedure online.
My wife and I wrote an award-winning book that shares our research and personal experiences as a way of helping men and couples cope with ED as well as learn about penile implant surgery. It’s titled "Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Erectile Dysfunction and Penile Implant Surgery."
If you are coping with ED, and something is preventing you from exploring this option, I hope you’ll share what that something is. And if you’ve had implant surgery, and you're willing to share your experiences, please do.
Note: This article appeared in Prostate Cancer News Today
Rick Redner and his wife Brenda Redner wrote two award winning books. The first:
provides men and couples with information and support before, during and after prostate surgery.
Their second book was written for couples living with!erectile dysfunction. After living with erectile dysfunction for four years, Rick chose penile implant surgery. The couple share how implant surgery changed their lives and relationship.
The title of their book is: