Erectile dysfunction

Updated 06 March 2017

SEE: This 20cm bionic penis can cure ED

This remote-controlled device lengthens to 20cm and operates at a temperature of 42 degrees Celsius to help cure chronic erectile dysfunction.


Having “performance problems” in the bedroom can be embarrassing for many men. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem, especially among older men, and the reasons can vary between physiological and psychological.

Mechanical penile implant

Medications such as Viagra and Stendra are often prescribed to enhance erections, and in some cases the doctor can give an injection. This, however, increases the risk for prolonged erections and possible scarring.

But in severe cases surgery can be used as a last resort. The so-called “prosthetic penis” is a mechanical penile implant. This can be inflatable or non-inflatable.

Now scientists from University of Wisconsin have developed a new mechanical penis called a “bionic penis”. This device is set to drastically reduce the rate of ED.

Read: Light therapy may restore male libido

A small incision

According to The Guardian this remote-controlled device lengthens to 20cm and reaches a temperature of 42 degrees Celsius.

According to The British Association of Urological Surgeons the procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and the prosthesis is inserted into the penis through a small incision. This incision is made in the area where the penis and scrotum come together.

A metal coil, 2,4cm in diameter is inserted into the base of the penis and turned on by remote control. The coil warms up the implant, which will expand and the penis will become fully erect.

The process to heat it up takes about two minutes, and after intercourse, when the device cools down, the penis becomes flaccid.

Different from current implants

Experts agree that current implants can be effective, but they often have too many components. For patients who have had major abdominal surgery the current implants are also risky.

The proposal will be tested out using animals over the next few months, but will be expanded to include humans in the near future.

Read: SEE: 14 things you didn't know about the penis

The lead scientist Dr Brian Le told the Express UK that many advances have been made.

“The modern era of penile implants has progressed rapidly over the past 50 years as physicians' knowledge of effective materials for penile prostheses and surgical techniques has improved.

“In the future, prosthetics will have increasing competition from emerging technologies. A shape memory alloy-based penile prosthesis represents a promising new technology in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.”

Read more:

First US penis transplant recipient released from hospital

Men who exercise more have better sexual function

How cycling can cause erectile dysfunction


Ask the Expert

Erectile Dysfunction Expert

Dr Kenny du Toit is a urologist practicing in Rondebosch, Cape Town. He is also consultant at Tygerberg hospital, where he is a senior lecturer at Stellenbosch University. He is a member of the South African Urological Association, Colleges of Medicine South Africa and Société Internationale d’Urologie. Board registered with both the HPCSA (Health professions council of South Africa) and GMC (General medical council UK). He has a keen interest in oncology, kidney stones and erectile dysfunction.

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