My Erectile Dysfunction (ED) was a result of the radical prostatectomy surgery I had for prostate cancer more than a decade ago.
I first tried a vacuum pump to improve blood flow to my penis. It worked for a while, but for me, the compression was painful.
Then I tried my first surgery for ED. I opted to get an inflatable penile prosthesis. That prosthesis was a big disappointment at first. I didn't know there were size choices, so I wasn't fitted correctly.
Fortunately, I was able to find a new doctor who told me about larger cylinders for the implant. My doctor was able to correct the size, but I also had to deal with several mechanical failures. The implant would require repairs when it wouldn't inflate.
I'm on my fifth revision now, with a new implant. Everything is working well. I realize that my case - with so many surgeries - is unusual. My experience has taught me that it's important to start with an experienced surgeon. Experience will raise the rate of satisfaction for men with a penile implant.
As I look back, I realize it's important to know what you're getting into before you begin. I would tell a new patient:
- If you consider an implant, make sure you work with a surgeon who's done this surgery and has had successful outcomes. Just being a doctor is not enough. Experience is everything.
- It's very important to do exactly what the surgeon tells you. If they tell you not to have intercourse for six weeks...don't do it. The costs could be severe. If I can follow directions, you can too!
- Be aware that after cancer surgery, you may lose sensation or it may be harder to climax with an implant.
- Try to talk with people who've already had the procedure. You can learn how they're doing. I wish more doctors would insist that patients talk with someone who's had the procedure before they move forward.
Bottom line: your love life can return. If you have ED, you should ask about what's available and learn as much as you can about helpful treatments and how they work.