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Do Penis Enlargement Methods Really Work?

Paul Turek, MD, FACS - Blogs
By Paul Turek, MD, FACSBoard-certified urologistJune 6, 2019
From the WebMD Archives

If you’re convinced that your penis is small (chances are it really isn’t), using the Internet to figure out how you measure up certainly won’t help you feel better – but you’re sure to find plenty of procedures and products promising to make your penis bigger. Are these promises too good to be true?

Medically, it is possible to make changes to the length and width of the human penis.  

Doctors can lengthen the penis surgically by cutting the ligaments that secure it to the pelvis; but this only makes limp penises appear longer. It does little for the erect penis except make it more unstable and less well-rooted. You can nonsurgically “stretch” the penis for several hours a day for months with rubber band-laden-devices to increase length. Likes braces on teeth, this slowly “remodels” the penis and can add a half inch or so.

To make the penis thicker, surgical implants or “grafts” can be sewn to the sides of the penis, or fat, silicon or muscle grafts placed under the skin to increase its diameter.  These may work but can make the penis look strange, almost “doughy soft” and have complications like erosion through the skin or infection requiring removal. And when this happens, the disfigurement can be permanent and really mess up what originally appeared normal.

So, how do you know what’s right for you? What’s safe? What’s effective? Well, honestly, you don’t. This is because, much like plastic surgery, penile procedures seek to satisfy personal desires and do not necessarily address a universally understood problem. Because of this, there is scant published data on individual penile enlargement procedures, let alone comparisons among them. 

That’s why it was refreshing to see a recently published paper that examined the outcomes from 17 studies of 21 surgical and non-surgical procedures that are used to enlarge penises. This 30,000-foot view of the field of penis enlargement was quite revealing. Here’s what it found:

  • 1192 men with healthy penises who underwent penile enlargement were evaluated
  • The vast majority of men having procedures had penises of normal size before their procedures
  • Surgical procedures included suspensory ligament excision (lengthening), fat grafting (girth) flaps (girth) and “penile disassembly.” Nonsurgical procedures included injectables (girth), extenders (length)and vacuum devices (length)
  • Among nonsurgical procedures, extenders definitely increased length, but only <2 cm
  • Injectables increased girth but were associated with significant complications (lumpy penis)
  • The average satisfaction rate among treated men was only 20%!
  • When counseling and education about penis size was given to patients before any procedures, more often than not patients declined any penile enlargement procedure

It suggests that when it comes to penile enlargement, be careful out there! Have realistic expectations about what you already own and what you’re buying into. Realize that the majority of men having such procedures end up not being entirely satisfied. Understand what can go wrong and how often it happens. And remember that in most cases, skill matters much more than size.

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About the Author
Paul Turek, MD, FACS

Paul Turek, MD, FACS, is founder of The Turek Clinics, providing state of the art medical treatment to men worldwide. Yale- and Stanford-trained, Dr. Turek has pioneered male fertility techniques including testicular mapping and sperm retrieval and has popularized the no-scalpel vasectomy. To read more from Dr. Turek, visit his award-winning blog.

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