The rate of infection in the US is believed to be between 2 to 5%. However it is known fact that infections are under reported and that in addition no national registry is currently in place tracking infection rates. It is up to the individual surgeon to decide whether or not to report and track the occurrence of an infection.
It is also well recognized that infections are much more prevalent in institutions where the procedure is not often performed and that 70% of penile implants are performed by urologist who perform 1 to 3 implants per year. This is often the case for large medical centers and institutions that are excellent for the treatment of major illnesses and cancers but are not set up for or do not prioritize for minor delicate "plastic like" procedures. In these instances, physicians may only quote the available published infection rate of experienced implanters when discussing the potential risks and side effects of the surgery rather than their own data. Finally to add insult to injury, the reimbursement to physicians is higher for removing an infected implant than for the initial surgery to put one in.
When an implant is infected, the clinical signs and symptoms of an infection become noticeable between the 2nd and 6th week after surgery, the entire device will need to be removed and a salvage procedure may or may not be attempted. This involves the simultaneous replacement of the infected implant with a non-infected device, concomitant with a prolonged course of oral or intravenous course of antibiotics. Failure rate of the salvage procedure is quite high (20%) and failure requires a third operation to completely remove the device without replacing it with another. Left without cylinders, the penis will then retract, shrink and scar, permanently reducing the size, length and girth of the penis. In addition all subsequent surgeries will be extremely difficult with a less than desirable outcome.
It is Dr. Eid’s philosophy that it is much better to do everything possible to prevent an infection rather than to having to treat one. It is therefore logical to add the NTT to all other available techniques to further reduce the risk of infection.