Distinguishing Failure to Cure From Complication After Penile Prosthesis Implantation

Miguel Pineda, Arthur L. Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background A successful penile prosthesis implantation (PPI) surgery can be defined by outcomes beyond the absence of complications. Aim To introduce the concept of failure to cure (FTC) in the context of PPI to more accurately gauge postoperative outcomes after PPI. Methods Consecutive patients from our sexual function registry who underwent PPI from January 2011 to December 2013 were analyzed. Demographics, previous treatment of erectile dysfunction, comorbidities, social history, postoperative problems (POPs), and surgical outcomes were tabulated. Patients completed the International Index of Erection Function (IIEF) and the Erectile Dysfunction Inventory of Treatment Satisfaction questionnaires. We defined a complication, according to the Clavien-Dindo classification, as any deviation from the ideal postoperative course that is not inherent in the procedure and does not constitute an FTC. FTC was defined as a POP that was not a complication. The χ2 tests, t-tests, or Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used. Outcomes Patient-reported and objective outcomes after PPI. Results Our enrollment consisted of 185 patients, and we contacted 124 (67%). Of these, 16 (12.9%) had a POP requiring reoperation. Eight patients developed surgical complications (three infections, four erosions, and one chronic pain). Eight patients had FTC (four malpositions and four malfunctions). Factors that correlated with POPs were previous PPI, body mass index higher than 30 kg/m2, and previous treatment with intracorporal injections (P < .05 for all comparisons). Patients who had POPs scored significantly lower on the IIEF erectile function and intercourse satisfaction domains (P < .05 for the two comparisons), but not on the orgasmic function, sexual desire, and overall satisfaction domains (P > .05 for all comparisons). Clinical Implications POPs after PPI surgery can be more accurately categorized using the Clavien-Dindo classification of surgical complications to more clearly distinguish surgical complications from FTC. Strengths and Limitations Limitations of our study include its retrospective approach. Our series included a large proportion of patients treated for prostate cancer, which limits the generalizability of our findings. We also had a relatively short median follow-up time of 27 months. Conclusions Patient-reported outcome assessments can vary greatly from what physicians determine to be successful PPI. An assessment of POPs encompasses more than just complication rates; it also reflects FTC. Even when POPs occur, patients can still derive satisfaction if they are correctively managed. Factors that possibly predispose to POPs include previous PPI surgery, body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2, and history of intracorporal injections. Pineda M, Burnett AL. Distinguishing Failure to Cure From Complication After Penile Prosthesis Implantation. J Sex Med 2017;14:731–737.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-737
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017


  • Complications
  • Infection
  • Outcomes
  • Penile Prosthesis
  • Satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Urology


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