(NEW YORK) -- Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler, is still sexually active even at age 70 and after becoming paralyzed in an unsolved sniper shooting 35 years ago. This week he revealed that he uses a little help.
Flynt, known in some circles as “the king of porn,” let the world know that he has a penile implant.
"Lots of men have them," Flynt told The Hollywood Reporter. "There's a little reservoir in the bottom part of your stomach, and you trigger it with a button inside your testicles that doesn't show. Nothing shows."
Penile implants like the one Flynt got are becoming more common, according like doctors like Dr. Andrew C. Kramer, associate professor of surgery and urology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who did not treat Flynt, but does perform around 250 penile implant surgeries a year.
Experts like Kramer say the penile implant is the "treatment of last resort" for men with erectile dysfunction, but its popularity is increasing due to a dramatic rise -- about 74 percent -- in the number of men undergoing radical surgery for prostate cancer.
"I see young guys in their 40s who wake up impotent," he said. "You have to tell your wife in her 30s, we're just friends and cuddle now."
The penile implant or prosthesis is an inflatable device containing two balloon-like cylinders that is inserted in the penis to work like a hydraulic system. A small pump is placed in the scrotum with a reservoir of about two to three ounces of salt water that connects to the tubing.
The man can activate the pump so the balloons fill up with fluid, creating an erection. After sex, he releases the valve inside the scrotum to drain the fluid back into the reservoir.
"It's relatively noninvasive," said Dr. David Gentile, associate professor of urology at University of Rochester Medical Center, who on average does at least one penile implant surgery a week.
"It sounds very intimidating, but it's not nearly as bad as one would think, especially because when you look at the apparatus, it spooks people."
The implants apparently work like a charm. Some spouses have told Gentile that their husband is "better than any teenager."
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