Many men may feel as though getting a penile implant is the right choice for them, but may feel unsure about the process itself. A lot of this uncertainty may come from the fact that very little is known about the process of getting a penile implant. Gaining a full understanding of what penile implant surgery entails can help you to make a safe and educated choice.


The Penile Implant Process 

Deciding to get a penile implant

Deciding to get a penile implant is a serious decision, as the process is permanent and irreversible1. In a lot of cases, doctors will only recommend this treatment method after all others have been exhausted2. Because the surgery is minimally invasive, a lot of people are actually good candidates for it, if the doctor agrees it is the right choice. There are still some factors that need to be considered, including3:

  • Age
  • Body shape/size
  • Size of the penis and scrotum
  • Medical history
  • General health

Part of deciding to get a penile implant will also include deciding what kind to get. Depending on your situation your doctor may only recommend a single type, or they may offer you a range of options. 

Preparation on the day

On the day of the surgery you will show up, and final preparations will occur. The urologist performing the surgery (or another medical professional will come and speak with you. This is to double-check your medical history and to ensure that you still consent to the procedure4.

Then the anesthetist will come and talk to you about the anesthesia. In some situations, you may be given a choice about what type of anesthesia you want, and in others, you may not get to choose. The surgery is mostly performed done under general anesthetic, meaning that you are unconscious while it occurs4. In some cases, it will be performed under spinal anesthesia, so you are numb from the waist down5. 

The Surgical Procedure

Once you are sedated, the surgery will begin. The medical team will begin by shaving the area, and cleaning it with antiseptic4. A catheter will be inserted, as well as an IV for any necessary antibiotics or other medication5. 

The specifics of your surgery are going to depend on the type of implant that you are receiving. In most cases, your surgeon will only need to make a single incision on or near the penis. The penis is stretched, and the prosthesis is placed inside5. If you are getting an inflatable prosthesis, the pump is placed inside the scrotum, and the reservoir is placed inside your abdomen5. If it is an inflatable prosthesis, the surgeon will inflate it and deflate it to make sure that everything is working correctly.

This procedure is very quick and efficient – it usually only takes approximately 20 minutes6. It is known as a minimally invasive procedure, and most patients can be back home on the same day of the surgery. This process is slightly more complex for men who have had radical prostatectomies and can therefore take a little longer, but it will still generally be an outpatient procedure6.

Recovery Period

The time it takes to fully recover from penile implant surgery is usually around 2 two weeks maximum7. This gives your penis time to recover, and time for the incisions to completely heal. During this time it is recommended that you don’t partake in any strenuous activity, you elevate the scrotum as much as possible, and you wear supportive underwear7.


Once the recovery period is over and your doctor is satisfied that you have healed correctly, you can begin to start using the prosthesis. If you have an inflatable implant, you will be asked to refrain from inflating it while it is still healing. Your doctor will help you to inflate it for the first time in their office, under guidance7. This may take some time to get used to, and you are encouraged to inflate and deflate it at least once a day. This also helps to gain the most size out of the implant7.

Remember – each practice will be slightly different

This is a general outline for what will occur during penile implant surgery. It’s important to remember that each practice and each surgeon may do things slightly differently. Always discuss concerns and questions with your actual doctor, who will be able to tell you exactly how things will work for you.