If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, you have a few different treatment options. For some men, less-invasive options like prescription medications and penile pumps simply don't cut it. If you're in this camp, then perhaps your doctor has recommended a penile prosthesis — implants that can be placed inside your penis in order to simulate an erection when needed. This procedure can work very well, but understandably, most men do have a few questions on their minds as they consider scheduling their prosthesis implantation. Hopefully you'll find the answers to your questions below.

How will the prosthesis work?

There are actually two different types of penile prostheses used for ED patients, and each one works differently. The first is called a malleable implant. This is basically like a firm, yet flexible rod that your surgeon inserts under your skin. Actually, you would have two rods implanted — one along each side of the penis.The rods hold your penis in a constant state of semi-rigidness. The other type is called an inflatable implant. It consists of a hollow cylinder that is inserted along the length of the penis. There's a tiny pump embedded near the scrotum, and if you press on that pump, it will send fluid up into the inflatable implant, simulating an erection.

Your doctor can discuss the pros and cons of both prosthetic options with you. The inflatable version does give you a bit more control, but some men do not like having to press to pump up the implant when they want to achieve an erection.

How is the surgery performed?

The surgical protocol is about the same regardless of which type of prosthesis you choose. It's usually done with local anesthetic and a sedative, so you'll be awake and groggy, but you won't feel any pain. Incisions will be made the base of your penis, and the implant will be fed up towards the head of the penis through those incisions. The whole ordeal takes about an hour.

Your doctor will generally monitor you for a few hours post-surgery before sending you home. You'll want to take pain relievers for a few days, and recovery takes one to two months. You'll need to avoid sexual activity during this recovery period.

Having a penile prosthesis inserted is a good long-term strategy for dealing with erectile dysfunction. There is some pain associated with the surgery, but rest assured that most men recover well with few to no side effects.

To learn more, contact a resource that performs erectile dysfunction procedures.