New Delhi: Erectile dysfunction is the reason 30-year-old Razool has been through two divorces. It is also the reason Sushil Rana, 28, who had part of his penis bitten off by a stray dog when he was an infant, is unable to have normal sexual intercourse.
Instead of hiding behind embarrassment, there is now hope for such men in the form of penile implant surgery, which can help them lead normal lives.
Urologists say erectile dysfunction is not a "new problem in society", with around 50 per cent men in India suffering the condition -- whether naturally like Razool or because of an accident, as in the case with Rana.
According to experts, erectile dysfunction has a "perfect cure" but because men do not feel comfortable about revealing their problems, they suffer a life without sex, or a break-up of their marriage.
Razool and Rana found hope to overcome their condition from medical experts. The two were asked to undergo penile implant surgery -- in which devices are placed inside the penis in order to help induce an erection.
While Razool was ready to pay around Rs 10 lakh to get his condition cured and underwent a technique called inflatable penile implant, Rana went for the cheaper semi-rigid penile implant surgery, which also offered an effective cure.
S.P. Yadav, urologist and Managing Director of Gurgaon's Puspanjali Hospital, described the two types of penal implants.
"Inflatable penal implants are done through surgery in which cylinders placed inside the penis are used to replace the spongy tissue which fills with blood during an erection. Implants usually come in a variety of diameters and lengths and range up to Rs 10 lakh," Yadav told IANS, adding that such surgeries are very popular in the West and the Gulf. They are, however, yet to catch on in India.
Semi-rigid penal implants are flexible and consist of two rods that are surgically implanted inside the organ.
The rods have an outer coating of silicone, high-density plastic or polyethylene, with a series of positionable segments, along with a metal core. These segments allow for more flexibility of movement.
Medical experts caution that penile implants are only for erectile dysfunction and not for impotency-related problems.
"Penile implants are only for erectile dysfunction. Impotency can be of different types," said Yadav.
Yadav, who is also President of North chapter of Urology Society of India, said that in India such implants are quite rare and only 10-12 cases usually come up every year.
"Implants are certainly a solution but it should be used only when other prescribed medications like penis erection oil or Viagra tablets are ineffective in curing the dysfunction," said Yadav.
Stating that impotency can be either psychological or physical, Yadav added: "While psychological impotency may be due to a man's fear that he will not be able to perform sexually leading to performance anxiety, physical impotence is due to the abnormalities of the penile arteries, veins, and smooth muscle causing obstruction in the flow of blood into the penile erection chambers preventing erection."
Both Razool and Rana after the treatment have told IANS that they are happy and satisfied.
Rupin Shah, Consultant Andrology, of Mumbai-based Global Hospitals, said: "Penile implants have been around since more than 45 years. The technology has been constantly evolving making the implants more reliable and comfortable."
Talking about the precautions needed after the surgery, Lt. Col. Aditya Pradhan, Senior Consultant Urology & Renal Transplantation, BLK Super Specialty Hospital, told IANS: "The penis should not be used 8-12 weeks after the implant. There is need to check for swelling during this period for the implant to get adjusted."