Penile Implant FAQs
Get answers to frequently asked questions about living with a Boston Scientific penile implant below.
Living with a Penile Implant
Will my penis look different to me or will others notice a penile implant?
Once in place, your implant will be completely undetectable. It’s fully concealed in the body. No one will know unless you tell them—even in the locker room.
Is the process of getting an erection painful?
The Spectra™ Concealable Penile Implant can simply be manually lifted up for intercourse and manually pushed down when not in use. This process should not be painful. To inflate an AMS 700™ or AMS Ambicor™ Penile Implant, you squeeze the pump in your scrotum, which will send fluid into the cylinders in the penis. This requires good manual dexterity but should not be painful. If you experience pain, contact your doctor.1
What will my partner think?
When inflated, the implant makes the penis stiff and rigid like a natural erection. Your erection will last as long as you desire. And you’ll still share the same intimate experience with your partner. Typically, ejaculation and sensation will feel similar to how they felt before the implant.2
How long is the recovery time after surgery? And when can I have intercourse?
Most men return home within a day of penile implant surgery and are back to all their normal activities within a week. Typically, you can have intercourse around six weeks after surgery.3
When will I get my patient ID Card?
You should receive your penile implant patient ID card at the hospital where you receive your implant. This wallet-sized card helps identify you as a patient with an implanted Boston Scientific medical device and you should carry it with you at all times.
Will my penile implant set off airport security?
Having a penile implant should not affect your ability to travel and go through airport security. Since most inflatable penile implants, like the AMS 700 and AMS Ambicor, have minimal metal parts, they should not set off a metal detector. However, some of the non-inflatable penile implants like the Spectra Implant may contain more metal. You will receive a patient ID card that identifies you as a medical device patient. Regardless of which type of implant you have, be sure to carry your patient ID card with you to help make it easier to go through airport security.
Can I undergo MRI testing with a penile implant?
People with an AMS 700™, AMS Ambicor™ or Spectra™ penile implant can safely get an MRI scan within certain parameters. Please let your doctor or MRI technician know you have a penile implant before the procedure and refer them to our MRI Info Guide for more information.
How long does an implant last? Will I ever need to replace it?
It’s impossible to predict how long an implant will function in a particular person. As with any medical device, penile implants are subject to wear and mechanical failure over time. A recent study of more than 39,000 patients showed that the seven-year mechanical survival of an AMS penile implant is greater than 94.5%.4 To prolong the life of your implant, follow the advice of your urologist.
What are the risks of getting a penile implant?
As with any medical procedure, complications can occur. You can find an overview of the risks of a Boston Scientific penile implant below, but be sure to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits associated with each device.
Side effects include, but are not limited to: 3
- Natural or spontaneous erections as well as other interventional treatment options will no longer be possible
- Infection, in which case the implant may have to be removed
- Pain, which is typically associated with the healing process
- Mechanical failure of the implant
About Erectile Dysfunction
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the persistent inability to achieve or maintain a penile erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.5 ED can limit your intimacy, affect your self-esteem and impact your most important relationships. Beyond the physical manifestations, ED causes emotional damage and there is a strong link found between ED and depression.6
How common is ED?
ED is a surprisingly common condition experienced by more than 39 million men in the United States.7
What causes ED?
While there are real physical and psychological reasons for ED, there’s no single cause. The chart shown here outlines the most common causes of ED.8
Resources and Support
1. AMS 700™ Patient Manual. Information and Instructions for Patients Considering an Inflatable Penile Prosthesis. American Medical Systems, Inc. 2012.
2. Penile Implants-Erectile Dysfunction. Sex Health Matters Website: http://www.sexhealthmatters.org/erectile-dysfunction/penile-implants-erectile-dysfunction/P7. Accessed December 3, 2014.
3. AMS 700™ Patient Manual. Information and Instructions for Patients Considering an Inflatable Penile Prosthesis. American Medical Systems, Inc. 2012.
4. Enemchukwu EA, Kaufman MR, Whittam BM, et al. Comparative revision rates of inflatable penile prosthesis using woven DacronTM fabric cylinders. J Urol. 2013 Dec;190(6):2189-93.
5. Erectile dysfunction. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/erectiledysfunction.html. Accessed May 2015.
6. DiMeo PJ. Psychosocial and relationship issues in men with erectile dysfunction. Urol Nurs. 2006 Dec;26(6):442-6.
7. Data on file with Boston Scientific.
8. Shabsigh R, MD, Lue TF, MD. A Clinician’s Guide to ED Management. New York: Haymarket Media Inc.; 2006.