Erectile dysfunction occurs in more men every year. While prescription medications are still the primary treatment offered to men suffering from impotence, more and more male patients are asking their doctors about penis implants. Implants are mechanical devices which enable men to achieve a normal erection without using drugs, giving greater freedom and spontaneity with their partners. However, do penis implants actually work, and how safe are they? It's a serious decision to have this procedure done, and requires a great deal of research and forethought. If you have any doubts, ask your doctor if having a penis implant is right for you.

Types of Devices

There are two main devices which doctors may use for the penis implantation: malleable and inflatable. Malleable devices are less commonly used today, and are basically a semi-rigid rod that is inserted into the penis. According to The Mayo Clinic, using this device means that the penis is semi-hard 24 hours a day, which is not desirable for a number of obvious reasons.

Inflatable devices are significantly more common, and are made up of empty cylinders inserted into the penis, a fluid-containing reservoirs are implanted near the bladder, and a pump hidden in the scrotum. The reservoirs contain saline fluid that is sent to the cylinders in the penis when the "pump" in the scrotum is manually activated. Inflatable penis implants are almost impossible to identify when the penis is not erect, avoiding locker-room embarrassment, and providing more flexibility for male patients. Malleable devices are also associated with a greater number of complications, such as tissue injury inside the penis, making them less desirable.

Do they Work?

According to most doctors, yes, penis implants do appear to work very well. Weil Cornell Medical College at Cornell University states on their website that 89% of male patients are satisfied with their treatment, while up to 70% of their partners are satisfied. These figures make penis implants the most successful treatment for impotence to-date. While implantations do not have a positive effect on penis length, they are able to improve penis hardness, enough for men to participate in intercourse. Researchers from Stritch School of Medicine in Illinois, USA, found that the more time passed post-surgery, the more happy male patients were with the treatment. Men were asked about their satisfaction with the implantation at 3, 6 and 12 month intervals following their surgery, and patients were most satisfied with the implants at 12 months post-operation. In addition, men suffering from Peyronie's disease found implants improved both the curvature and length of their penis.

Risks and Dangers

Despite their high success rate, penis implants are not without risk. Having a pump or prosthesis implanted is a permanent decision -- following the procedure, a man will never be able to achieve a normal erection without the device. Whatever complications arise with a device, male patients just have to live with it. Post-surgery, the implants can break down and surgery is required to replace or repair the device. Each time surgery is performed, the risk of infection, trauma and nerve damage increases. Not to mention that the surgery required for penis implants is very painful, ranging from moderate to severe pain for up to several weeks.

Another complaint is that some men may feel dissatisfied with the appearance of their penis following their procedure. Penis implants provide the hardness required for intercourse, but they also have a negative effect on penis size -- in some cases, penis length is reduced by up to 2 inches. In addition, implants do not improve the firmness of the glans of the penis. This causes the penis to look different during arousal, and makes insertion difficult for some couples.

Penis Health Crèmes

Health crèmes can be applied to the penis to help promote tissue healing and recovery post-surgery. Using health crèmes may also help to protect nerve function during and after surgery, as penis surgery can cause significant nerve damage. Specialist formulas (most professionals recommend Man1Man Oil) contain vitamin C, A and E for immune function and wound healing. These vitamins are important to protect against post-surgery bacterial infection. Alpha lipoic acid, another active ingredient, has also been shown in several studies to protect penis nerve fibers from damage during prostate surgery. Apply as directed for fast healing and recovery.