Who Can Benefit From Testicular Prosthesis Implants?

glass sphene
Yes, testis prostheses have been made of see-through glass (Courtesy: Unsplash)

Name the only organ in the body that, when removed or missing, has been replaced with stone, glass, and rubber. Nope, it’s not the “glassy eye,” but that’s a good guess. A “heart of stone” is another thought, but it ends there. And “plastic emotions” really isn’t an organ, is it? And “morning wood” comes close but it describes a normal, hardworking penis.

Give up? The answer is the testicle. Over the past 85 years, it has been replaced with these and other fun materials like lucite (think 70s), vitallium alloy (rust free!) and polyethylene (an oil-derived resin), all to restore normal order to the family jewels.

Implant Extinction

In the early 1990s, silicone implants became the fashionable implant compound-de-jour throughout the body. But then…they started leaking and the implant world went reeling. The concern about cancer and autoimmune disease rose to frightful levels, peaking in the mid-1990s. A frenzy of lawsuits followed and, like turtles retreating into shells, manufacturers quickly pulled all silicone-based implants off the market. This implant apocalypse led to the extinction of the testis implant for several years. Knowing their incredible safety history, and the real psychological benefit imparted to their owners, I led an initiative to reinstate the testis prosthesis into modern medicine by leading a nationwide clinical trial to get FDA approval of a silicone-based testis implant. This passed FDA muster in 2002 and has revived the industry to this day.

Implant Architect

Over the last 20 years, as the architect of the modern testis implant, I have observed that a missing testis can be psychologically traumatic at any age, from childhood to old age. And the scenarios in which it occurs are actually not that uncommon. The majority are those born with undescended testicles (2% of all boys) that have either “vanished” on exploration or were removed. Testicular loss also occurs with twisting of teen testicles (torsion) that suffocates them. As young adults, testicles can be lost due to infection or cancer (1/270 men). Men of any age on testosterone replacement (1% of US men) are often displeased with the fact that their testicles uniformly become smaller and softer and have been very happy with implants that make all look normal down there again.

Implant Karma

While running the national clinical trial to put testis implants back on the market, I learned that making men genitally whole again is not simply a cosmetic procedure. We looked at 3 quality-of-life instruments (Body Esteem Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and the Body Exposure in Sexual Activities Questionnaire) and found significant increases in ‘well-being’ as defined by self-satisfaction, self-esteem, physical attractiveness, and behaviors and feelings during sexual activity. So, men who received testis prosthesis not only looked better but really felt better in very meaningful ways.

Just as importantly, I saw that men stopped thinking, worrying, and perseverating about their formerly odd genitals. Their long-held and constantly percolating uniball problem became a non-issue in one fell swoop. And this allowed them to turn their attention and productive energies back into life itself and realize that, in the words of Nietzsche: “When one has much to put into them, a day has a hundred pockets.”