Three-piece inflatable penile prostheses (IPPs) have high rates of satisfaction among patients and their female partners, according to a study published online last month in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
There are several possible treatments for erectile dysfunction (ED), each with their advantages and disadvantages. Oral medications are popular, but not effective for every man. Self-injection therapy is another option, but some men are uncomfortable with the idea of injecting medicine into their penis.
IPPs are implanted surgically. The three-piece version involves a pair of cylinders placed in the penis, a reservoir of fluid, and a pump. When a man wants an erection, he activates the pump and the cylinders fill with the fluid. When finished, the man can deactivate the pump and the fluid returns to the reservoir, ending the erection.
In this study, Greek and American researchers addressed some of the limitations of past research on IPPs by considering both patients and partners and by using validated assessment tools.
They wanted to know more about patients’ erectile function and satisfaction after IPP implantation and investigate the relationship between patient and partner satisfaction. They also wanted to see what factors contributed to patient satisfaction.
The researchers used the International Index of Erectile Function-Five (IIEF-5) and the Erectile Dysfunction Inventory of Treatment Satisfaction (EDITS) to assess the experiences of 69 men. Higher scores on each tool indicated better erectile function and satisfaction, respectively. Female partners completed the partner version of the EDITS.
The men had a mean age of 56 years. All had 3-piece inflatable prostheses, which were implanted using a scrotal approach. One surgeon performed all of the implant operations. Among all the men, four different types of IPPs of varying lengths were used.
Implantation led to a distinct rise in IIEF-5 scores among the men. Before surgery, their mean IIEF-5 scores was 8.88 ± 3.75. At least one year after surgery, their scores increased to a mean of 20.97 ± 4.37. About 85% of the men had EDITS scores that fell into the “satisfied” and “very satisfied” categories.
For female partners, the mean EDITS score was 70.00 ± 22.92, which falls into the “satisfied” category.
The type and length of IPP did not appear to affect patients’ satisfaction, nor did marriage status or cause of ED.
The researchers acknowledged several limitations. Data from female partners were retrospective and did not include information on their pre-implant sexual function. Consequently, there was no way to tell whether the women’s satisfaction levels improved over time.
Overall, however, the authors concluded, “This study overcame problems of previous studies and reinforced their findings of significant increases in IPP postimplantation patient satisfaction.”
“It highlights also significant female partner satisfaction,” they added.
The Journal of Sexual Medicine
Vakalopoulos, Ioannis, PhD, et al.
“High Patient Satisfaction after Inflatable Penile Prostheses Implantation Correlates with Female Partner Satisfaction”
(Full-text. First published online: September 12, 2013)