Inflatable Penile Prosthesis

Erectile dysfunction is very common in men. Please refer to our page on erectile dysfunction for more information about this issue.

A penile implant, also known as an inflatable penile prosthesis, is a device that is place inside your penis to allow you to achieve an erection.  You may be a candidate for this device if you have erectile dysfunction that does not respond to other medications, or had significant side effects from these medications.

The device is implanted surgically and is composed of 3 main parts:

  • 2 cylinders: placed in the shaft of the penis. These cylinders fill with fluid when you are interested in having an erection
  • A balloon or reservoir: holds the fluid for the cylinders when your device is not in use. This reservoir sits behind the muscles of the abdomen.
  • A pump: a device that sits in the scrotum which allows you to move fluid from the balloon into the cylinders and achieve an erection.

How it Works

When you squeeze the pump in your scrotum, fluid will move from the reservoir into the cylinders. It will likely take several pumps to obtain a good erection. It becomes more challenging to pump as the penis gets more rigid; this is normal.

When you want to deflate the cylinders, you will press the small button of the pump and gentle squeeze the penis to encourage fluid to move from the cylinders back into the reservoir.

Risks of the Procedure

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Device failure
  • Pain
  • Injury to the urethra

After the Procedure

You will be in hospital overnight with a urinary or foley catheter draining your bladder. You will receive antibiotics as well as pain medication and fluids.

Your catheter will be removed before you go home.

Post-Surgical Discharge

  • Your device will be partially inflated for 4 weeks. Do not attempt to inflate or deflate your device in this period.
  • You will be sent home with antibiotics, pain management, and a stool softener.
  • You may shower when you get home. No baths, hot tubs, or swimming for 2 weeks.
  • No heavy lifting/straining/strenuous activities for 6 weeks


At 4 weeks, you will be seen in clinic to be taught how to operate the device. You will then begin cycling the device on a daily basis.

How to Cycle your Device

  • Inflate the penis until you achieve a rigid erection
  • Maintain erection for 15 minutes
  • Deflate device
    • NOTE: it is very important to full deflate the cylinders. Fluid remaining in the cylinders for long periods can result damage to the tissue overlying the device.
  • Repeat for 2-4 weeks

You can start using your device after 6 weeks. We advise that you wait until you no longer have pain with full erection.

Additionally a downloadable patient guide to ED is available here.

Information regarding the implants themselves is available directly from the manufacturers: Coloplast and Boston Scientific.