Overview: Insurance, including Medicare Part B, may cover penile implants when they are determined medically necessary. Otherwise, estimates for the procedure range from $15,000 to $20,000. There also may be secondary costs related to recovery to consider. [English]
What Are Penile Implants?
Penile implants are devices surgically inserted into the penis to allow a man with erectile dysfunction to achieve an erection. There are two kinds of implants:
- Inflatable implants are filled with a fluid to achieve an erection. There are two types of inflatable implants. In three-piece designs, a reservoir for the fluid is placed in the abdomen and fills the implant on demand. When finished, the fluid is drained through a valve placed in the scrotum. Two-piece designs combine the reservoir and pump into one unit.
- Semi-rigid implants can be manipulated by hand to create an erection, and then moved to a downward position for everyday needs. Positionable versions have segments connected by springs for easier use and a more natural look.
When Should I Consider Penile Implants?
Penile implants are generally seen as the final option for treating ED. Keep in mind that penile implants are surgical procedures with the attendant risk of infection and other complications, so they shouldn’t be gone into lightly.
Doctors will generally only consider them under the following conditions:
- Other interventions, such as smoking cessation, lifestyle changes, and emotional health approaches have had limited effect.
- The ED is due to medical reasons such as prostate surgery and is not reversible.
- The patient is a good candidate for surgery, with no other serious chronic conditions or other risks.
- There are no other surgical options, such as widening arteries, that are recommended.
- Other interventions, such as medication, have not worked.
- There’s a clear medical need for the procedure.
- The patient fully understands the benefits and drawbacks of the procedure, such as that it will have no impact on sexual desire or sensation.
Like any surgery, there will be a period of recovery and attendant risks, and this may rule out the procedure as well.
Are Penile Implants Covered By Insurance?
Penile implants can be covered by both Medicare and private insurance. However, like any surgical procedure, they’ll only be covered, fully or partially, if there’s a medical need for the procedure, and when the conditions of the policy are met. If a doctor recommends penile implant surgery, you’ll need to contact your insurer and discuss your policy.
How Much Is The Out-Of-Pocket Cost of Penile Implant Surgery?
Estimates range from $15,000 to $20,000 for a procedure paid for privately. However, each patient will be different, and costs are affected by where the procedure is done, who performs it, and possible complications during and after.
There will also be long-term considerations. While an implant can help with the physical side of ED, there’s an emotional component that patients will need to commit to taking care of as well, ideally by working with their partner.
Sexual health is a complicated topic, and you need to be your own advocate for it. That starts with the right information. Follow the eDrugstore blog to learn about erectile dysfunction and how to better treat it. If you are considering medication, such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis, please see our medication guide for more information about these and other ED meds we offer.
Dan is a long-time freelance writer focusing on technology, science, health, and medicine, with a lifelong interest in physics, biology, and medicine. His work has taken a particular focus on scientific studies “beyond the headlines,” reading the study to more closely examine the results.