The inflatable penile prosthesis (IPP) is a treatment option for erectile dysfunction (ED) that is most often used in men who cannot take or do not respond well to oral medications or injections. It involves an implant that is surgically inserted into the penis that can be inflated using an attached pump to achieve an erection.
Historically, patient satisfaction with IPP has been high. However, often these satisfaction studies have been conducted using tools that were designed to evaluate the effectiveness of oral ED medications and/or injections. Therefore, these results may be less reliable than results obtained by a tool specifically designed for measuring IPP satisfaction.
The Quality of Life and Sexuality with Penile Prosthesis Questionnaire (QoLSPP) is a validated survey designed to assess patients’ satisfaction with IPP. It looks at four different domains: prothesis functionality, relationship with one’s partner, social interaction, and self-esteem. For the QoLSPP, respondents rank each item on a scale from 0 to 5. Responses of 3 and above are considered to be positive.
In a recent study, researchers used the QoLSPP to investigate patient-reported satisfaction after IPP placement. They also looked at different factors that might influence a person’s satisfaction with IPP including age, body mass index (BMI), diabetes diagnosis, implant type, cause of ED, time since operation, and pre- and postoperative penile measurements.
Patients who had undergone IPP placements for the first time between January 2017 to December 2019 in a large health center were invited by phone to take this survey. A total of 542 patients met these criteria and were asked to participate. In the end, 322 individuals completed the survey. Furthermore, 109 of these patients visited the clinic to receive official pre- and postoperative penile measurements.
The results of the survey showed:
- An overall positive response rate of 93.1% satisfaction with IPP (300/322).
- A positive response rate of 93.1% in the function and relationship domains (300/322).
- A positive response rate of 94.7% in the social domain (305/322).
- A positive response rate of 94.4% in the personal domain (304/322).
- Of the 109 patients who visited the clinic for official measurements, 67 (61.4%) showed increases in length, and 54 (49.4%) showed increases in girth.
- On the other hand, 12 (11%) showed decreases in length, and 4 (3.7%) showed decreases in girth.
- Interestingly, 66 patients (60.5%) complained of a perceived decrease in penile size.
This study showed a very positive overall response to IPP, which is in line with previous research on the subject. There were no significant differences found when it came to satisfaction and the various factors investigated. That said, people are generally more satisfied when they have realistic expectations for the results of a surgery and solid upfront communication with their surgeon.
- Luna, E., Rodriguez, D., Barrios, D., Hernandez, H., Bianco, F., & Gheiler, E. (2022). Evaluation of Quality of Life After Inflatable Penile Implantation and Analysis of Factors Influencing Postsurgery Patient Satisfaction. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 19(9), 1472-1478. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2022.06.018