Infections Associated with Inflatable Penile Prostheses

Sex Med Rev. 2014 Oct;2(3-4):134-140. doi: 10.1002/smrj.30. Epub 2015 Oct 19.


Introduction: The implantation of inflatable penile prosthesis (IPP) has become a successful method for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Infections are rare but they can result in devastating complications following surgical implantation of the prosthesis.

Aim: To discuss pathogenesis, risk factors, and microbiology of IPP infections, summarize clinical manifestation and diagnostic methods, and discuss future directions of prevention and management.

Methods: A PubMed search was performed of all articles published from 1960 to present relating to IPP infections.

Main outcome measure and results: Skin flora organisms such as Staphylococcus epidermis are the most common source of infection. Several host and surgical risk factors for prosthesis infection have been demonstrated, including uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and previous surgical interventions. Biofilms play an important role in the pathogenesis of device-related infections. Pain, fever, drainage, and device extrusions are suggestive of IPP infection. Preventive methods include preoperative skin cleansing, systemic antibiotic prophylaxis, and the use of surface-modified prostheses. The most frequently utilized surgical management is a single-stage approach that comprises aggressive irrigation and debridement, removal of all components of the infected prosthesis, and placement of a new IPP in the same surgical setting.

Conclusion: Advances in systemic antimicrobial prophylaxis, skin cleansing and surface-modification of the devices, as well as a number of other potentially protective measures, have decreased the rates of infections. Currently, most infected IPP are surgically managed by adopting the salvage approach. Al Mohajer M and Darouiche RO. Infections associated with inflatable penile prostheses. Sex Med Rev 2014;2:134-140.

Keywords: Infection; Inflatable Penile Prostheses; Management; Prevention; Salvage.

Publication types

  • Review