Retropubic Dilation With a Foley Catheter Balloon: A Novel Technique for Penile Prosthesis Reservoir Placement

Nicole M. Szell, DO; Gregory V. McIntosh, DO; Anthony D. DiMatteo, DO; Todd Campbell, MD; and Michael K. Shaw, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Accepted: May 31, 2016

Published: September 1, 2016

J Osteopath Med; 116(9): 594-598

Context: The 3-piece inflatable penile prosthesis was introduced in 1973 as a treatment for men with erectile dysfunction. Consisting of 2 corporal cylinders, 1 pump, and a fluid-filled reservoir, the prosthesis is placed by blunt dissection into the retropubic space. The dissection for the reservoir is performed blindly into a space juxtaposed with nerves, vessels, and the bladder.

Objectives: To propose a novel approach for inflatable penile prosthesis reservoir placement involving gentle dilation of the retropubic space using a Foley catheter balloon.

Methods: Patient medical records from 1 surgeon were reviewed. Patients did not have a history of pelvic surgery or prostatectomy. Each implant was approached using a penoscrotal incision, and the retropubic space was dilated with a 30-mL Foley catheter balloon filled to 100-mL capacity before reservoir placement. The postoperative visits were examined for complications, including reservoir infection and herniation. A literature search of penile prosthesis reservoir placement technique and complications (eg, herniation, infection) of reservoir placement was also performed.

Results: Fifteen patient records were examined. The reservoir herniation rate was 0% and the infection rate was 7%. The average reservoir herniation rate is reported to be 1% to 3%, and the average infection rate is reported to be 1% to 5%.

Conclusions: The use of a Foley catheter balloon is a safe, atraumatic, cost-effective, and easily performed method of dilating the retropubic space for subsequent inflatable penile prosthesis reservoir placement.

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