The Impact of Immediate Salvage Surgery on Corporeal Length Preservation in Patients Presenting with Penile Implant Infections

Diana M. Lopategui, Raymond R. Balise, Layla A. Bouzoubaa, Steven K. Wilson, Bruce R. Kava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: Removal of an infected penile implant often results in corporeal fibrosis, irreversible penile shortening and dissatisfaction with future implant surgery. Salvage surgery may avoid these problems but to our knowledge no study to date has evaluated these specific end points. We evaluated patients who presented to our center with an infected implant to determine the impact of salvage surgery on penile length. Materials and Methods: We evaluated consecutive patients undergoing removal of an infected penile prosthesis with immediate salvage or delayed reimplantation using a comprehensive, prospective database. Total corporeal length prior to and following immediate salvage or delayed reimplantation were compared. The impact of patient age, comorbidities, bacterial species, initial penile length and time to reimplantation on subsequent total corporeal length was evaluated. Results: The cohort consisted of 40 patients. Overall 81% of salvaged cases were successful, resulting in a mean 0.6 cm (95% CI 0.20 to 1.1) reduction in total corporeal length. Delayed reimplantation resulted in a mean 3.7 cm (95% CI 2.9–4.5) total corporeal length loss. In patients who underwent delayed reimplantation the total corporeal length reduction was directly proportionate to the initial penis size of the patient. No statistically significant impact on penile length was attributable to patient age, diabetes, bacterial species or time to reimplantation. Conclusions: When possible, salvage surgery should be offered to patients with an infected penile implant. Our data confirmed that successful salvage surgery preserves penile length. When a device is explanted and replaced at a later date, patients can expect to lose 15% to 30% of penile length irrespective of age, diabetes, type of infecting organism and time to reimplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • infection
  • organ size
  • penile implantation
  • penile prosthesis
  • salvage therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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