What are the types of surgery used for erectile dysfunction?

Penile prostheses: A device that is surgically implanted into the penile cavity to ensure a rigid erection. Penile prostheses are usually implanted under anesthesia and the patient spends one night in the hospital. As with any surgery, complications from anesthesia, blood loss or an infection can occur. Pain can last weeks and narcotic medication may be used. After a month, the male patient can be shown how to use this prosthesis for sexual activity. Healing time varies after this procedure and pain, tenderness and lack of activity/exercise can delay the functionality of this implant.

Penile injection therapy: This type of therapy injects certain medications directly into the penis to help expand the blood vessels, increase the blood flow and relax some of the tissues around the penis. These injections results in more blood to the vessels in the pelvic/penile regions that can cause an erection.

Penile arterial revascularization: This particular procedure is designed to keep blood flowing to the penis by rerouting the blood flow from around a blocked vessel or when injury occurs to the penis or pelvic region. Venous (or blood flow) leakage is also associated with the build-up of scar tissue in the penis that leads to curved, painful erections , certain nerve conditions, diabetes and even severe anxiety.

This revascularization surgical procedure may be able to correct the damaged done by a penile injury that occurred due to blunt type trauma from sports or as a result of a motor vehicle accident that caused a pelvic fracture. Trauma to the penis causes damage to the tissues and blood vessels that are located nearby the penis, which can block an erection. The surgeon may be able to connect a nearby penile artery to the penis areas to get around the damaged blood vessel site. The procedure can help to increase blood flow so that an erection can occur.

Venous ligation surgery: Penile blood vessels can leak which can impact the rigidity of an erection and lessens the erection. The venous ligation surgery binds the leaky blood vessels and helps improve blood flow needed for erection. By blocking the problem veins from getting any blood, then more blood is there to cause an erection in other parts of the blood flow to the penis. Unfortunately, there is only less than 50 percent success rate and this is not a top choice for repair of erectile dysfunction. In fact, you are not a candidate for either penile vascular surgery if you have insulin-dependent diabetes or widespread atherosclerosis..

These major vascular surgeries are not considered an option for men who still use tobacco or have high cholesterol levels. These vascular surgeries are considered experimental in nature and often not covered by insurance companies.

Source: Urology Care Foundation 2014 and Journal of Sexual Medicine