Use of a Preoperative Checklist Reduces Risk of Penile Prosthesis Infection

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Infection of a penile prosthesis is a devastating complication that necessitates the removal of all device components. Many aspects of preoperative and intraoperative infection prophylaxis practices have been examined but the specific relevant factors remain unknown. We determined whether use of a mandatory checklist of perioperative practices believed to reduce the risk of prosthesis infection would impact patient safety.

Materials and Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed men with erectile dysfunction who underwent penile prosthesis insertion. Only patients who had not previously undergone penile prosthesis surgery were included in the study. After an outbreak of infections, a mandatory checklist comprised of best infection prophylaxis practices was developed and was required for all subsequent implant surgeries. Patient cohorts were divided into 3 groups of baseline period, outbreak period and intervention period. Statistical analysis was performed using the chi-square test, Fisher's exact test and ANOVA.


During the baseline period 2 of 68 (2.9%) inflatable penile prosthesis devices became infected. During the outbreak period 6 of 11 (54.5%) devices became infected, representing an incidence risk ratio 18.55 times that of the baseline period. After the implementation of the preoperative checklist the incidence risk ratio decreased to 0.0 in the intervention period with 0 of 52 devices (0%) becoming infected.


After an outbreak of an unusually high number of penile prosthesis infections, implementation of a required checklist brought the rate down to zero. Although the specific factors that led to the infection outbreak and subsequent cessation of infections are unknown, we have shown that use of a checklist was associated with a dramatic impact on patient safety.

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