Recovery after surgery varies from patient to patient, but these general guidelines should help you heal properly and get back to your normal life as soon as possible.
Controlling your pain after penile implant surgery
You will likely feel soreness and discomfort for two to three weeks after the procedure. After three weeks most of the soreness should be gone.
To reduce pain after surgery, you can use the ice pack or bag of frozen peas we recommended that you buy during the week before your surgery. Don’t put it directly on the surgical area. Lay a towel over the area and gently put the pack on top of the towel.
Take your scheduled pain medication. You can take Tylenol every four to six hours for the first 48 hours after surgery. After that, you can also mix in some anti-inflammatory like Advil, Aleve, or naproxen, alternating between Tylenol and the anti-inflammatory.
You will receive some narcotic pain medication to take home, but many patients never need it. Only use the narcotic pain medication if you really need it. In general, not using narcotic pain medication is best for your overall health and will help you avoid constipation.
For up to a year after surgery you may occasionally feel twinges of pain or some soreness when you inflate the penile implant device. This is normal. Your body may need up to a year to recover fully from the surgery and to adjust to the device. Minor instances of discomfort are a normal part of that process.
Taking care of yourself after penile implant surgery
After surgery, you won’t have any dressing on the surgical wound. You will be provided with support material and mesh underwear to protect your scrotum as it heals. The incision may leak some fluid. If you purchased inexpensive underwear the week before surgery, you can wear that to add support as your scrotum heals. Using extra support material may also help.
Don’t take any showers during the first 48 hours after your procedure. After 48 hours, you may take a shower, but you should not rub or scrub the area of the incision. Let the water wash gently over the area. You may use unscented soap in the area of the incision, but don’t do any scrubbing. Let the water rinse the soap off. To dry, you can dab the area gently with a towel.
As a general rule, keep the area of the incision dry as it heals. Don’t take any baths or use a hot tub until the incision is completely healed. That usually takes anywhere from four to six weeks.
During the surgery, a special kind of glue is put on your incision. Don’t peel off that glue. It will fall off on its own.
The suture used will also dissolve on its own over several weeks. Don’t cut the suture or try to remove it.
If the skin around the incision separates a little bit, you can gently apply some antibiotic ointment over the area to help with healing.
Complications after penile implant surgery are rare, but you should be aware of any symptoms, such as fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting, and contact us about them.
If you feel like your soreness is not getting better or is getting worse, or if you see redness around the incision, you should contact us about that.
If you see any abnormal drainage, such as clear or bloody drainage or pus coming from the incision or from the pin holes that we make in the glans during the surgery, you should let us know about that immediately.
Daily life while recovering from penile implant surgery
You should be able to return to normal life very soon after your surgery.
Even on the day of your surgery, we will have you get up out of bed and do some walking. When you get home, you won’t have any restrictions on walking or going up and down stairs.
You should limit your strenuous activity for the first six weeks after surgery. Avoid heavy lifting, and don’t lift anything heavier than 25 pounds. There are scars where the reservoir for your implant is stored, and we want to be sure those scars heal in place. Strenuous activity can make that area pouch out.
You should not do any driving for about a week after surgery. Driving requires you to twist your body in ways that might affect the area of your surgery. Use your best judgment. If you feel any discomfort when making those movements, avoid driving.
If you're taking the narcotic pain medication we’ve provided, don’t drive.
Don’t use your penile implant for sexual activity for the first six weeks after surgery. If your recovery goes as expected, we will give you the go-ahead to start using it after your six-week follow-up appointment.
You’ll have your first follow-up appointment about three weeks after surgery. During that appointment, you’ll be shown how to inflate and deflate the implant. After that three-week follow-up appointment, you should run the device through its full cycle, inflating it and deflating it, once each day. That will help you practice using it, and it will help stretch the tissue to accommodate the new device.
Your next scheduled appointment will be six weeks after surgery. At that appointment, you’ll demonstrate that you know how to use the device properly, and you can ask any questions you have about using it. After that appointment, you will be free to use the device for sexual activity.
You will next come see us three months after that six-week visit. This visit is a check-up to make sure everything is working properly.
After that, you can schedule an annual appointment for check-ups on the device and on any of your other men’s health concerns.
If you have questions during your recovery you can contact us through your MyChart account. You’ll receive a response in 24 to 48 hours.
You can also call 1-319-353-8939.