Two very new designs of implants, the Flexi-Flate and the Hydroflex, represent something of a cross between the inflatable and the semirigid types. Like the semirigid implant, these consist of two cylinders placed in the corpora cavernosa. But like the inflatable type, these cylinders actually inflate and the penis can be flaccid or rigid. To inflate the implant, a man pushes on the part of the prosthesis near the head of the penis. This transfers all the fluid from one chamber into another, causing an erection. The beauty of this design is that the reservoir is actually contained inside the cylinders themselves.

For a man who runs a greater-than-average risk from general anesthesia but who prefers the inflatable implant, these newer models present a viable compromise, because often a local anesthetic is all that’s required.

The drawbacks to this crossbreed are that the penis never reaches a completely relaxed state, and it doesn’t increase in girth as much as the more traditional type of inflatable implant. That’s s because the reservoir has to be smaller since it is located inside the corpora cavernosa. And it may be two to three months after surgery before you can operate the implant fully.


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