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What is penis enlargement surgery?

Penis enlargement surgery is surgery to make your penis appear bigger. Surgery is just one way that people may try to do this. You may see procedures trying to enlarge (augment) your penis by doing the following:

  • Surgery to make your penis longer (increase its length).

  • Surgery to make your penis wider (increase its girth or circumference around the shaft).

  • Liposuction to make your stomach smaller so your penis looks larger.

Who needs to have penis enlargement surgery?

There may be medical reasons for seeking an enlargement surgery if you have micropenis or a buried penis. Micropenis, or a very small penis, is a congenital condition (one you’re born with). A buried penis refers to a penis hidden under the skin from your stomach, thighs or scrotum. This can be congenital also or can happen when you get older. People with these conditions often seek surgery to restore a functional penis. These functions include:

  • Being able to urinate standing up.

  • Being able to have penetrative sexual intercourse.

Who else might want to have penis enlargement surgery?

In most cases, though, people interested in penis enlargement surgery aren’t satisfied with the appearance of their penis. Even though they are able to urinate standing up, or have penetrative intercourse, they still worry that their penis isn’t long enough or wide enough. They might think that both length and girth aren’t adequate.

This problem is primarily one of perception because most people have penises that are capable of doing what the penis was meant to do: engage in sexual activity and urinate (pee) standing up. While many people occasionally wonder whether their penis size is normal, some people have persistent and bothersome concerns about their penis size which can affect their daily life (their work, their personal relationships and their overall mood).

If you notice that worrying about your penis size is affecting your life, but a doctor told you that your penis size is normal, you may have conditions such as penile dysmorphophobia disorder (PDD) or small penis anxiety.

  • PDD (penile dysmorphophobia disorder) is a form of body dysmorphic disorder. People with PDD believe that their penis is smaller than it actually is, and believe that other people’s penises are bigger than they actually are. PDD can lead to depression, and can even cause problems with erections.

  • SPA (small penis anxiety) is a form of anxiety. People with SPA have anxiety in situations when someone may see their genitals (for example, in a locker room or during sex) because they worry that their penis is smaller than normal.


What happens before penis enlargement procedures?

Before penis enlargement surgery, like any surgery, you’ll have to answer questions to see if you’re eligible for the procedure. These questions may include:

  • Are you healthy enough for anesthesia and surgery?

  • Have you been through any required psychological examinations?

  • Do you understand all of the risks of the procedure?

  • Do you smoke or use tobacco?

  • Are you circumcised?

  • Do you take any medications that may interfere with healing, like blood thinners?

  • Do you have diabetes?

  • Have you had previous pelvic surgeries?

What happens during penis enlargement procedures?

There are different types of procedures used to make penises appear bigger. However, there are very few methods that work reliably well to increase penile size or length. Marketing materials will often use misleading “before and after” photos to draw in potential clients. Commonly performed procedures include:

  • Ligamentolysis: The suspensory ligament that connects your penis to your pubic bone is surgically cut. The flaccid penis hangs lower and seems longer.

  • Penis enlargement using autologous fat: A healthcare provider removes fat using liposuction, then injects that fat into your penis to increase the circumference.

  • Penis enlargement using dermal fillers: A provider injects cosmetic fillers under the skin of your penis (subcutaneously). Some of these are safer than others.

  • Implantation of the Penuma® device: This product consists of soft silicone. A surgeon places it under your skin. It’s the only product of its type with FDA approval.

  • Surgical removal of the suprapubic fat pad: The fatty tissue surrounding the penis is surgically removed for men with a “buried” penis. This doesn't increase the size of your penis, but reduces the size of the tissues around it to reveal the true length of the penis.

Depending on which type of procedure you have, your provider may perform treatment in an office setting or in an operating room.

What happens after penis enlargement?

Your provider will give you instructions when you leave the office or the operating facility. You may have pain medication. The type of procedure you had done will dictate how long you are home from work or school and how long you have to wait to be able to resume sexual activity. For some of the more invasive procedures, this may be as long as six weeks.


What are the risks or complications of penis enlargement procedures?

There are several risks or “cons” to these types of procedures, including:

  • Having a bad reaction to anesthesia.

  • Scarring or inflammatory reaction.

  • Needing additional surgery that may lead to making the penis shorter.

  • Having a bend or kink in the new penis shape due to scarring.

  • Loss of sensation or pain in your penis.

  • Erectile dysfunction.

  • Getting an infection.

  • Dissatisfaction with results (penis is not as big as you expected).

What are the advantages of this procedure?

Some procedures do result in increases in penis length and/or girth. If you have reasonable goals and expectations of the procedure you choose, then you may feel more confident and self-assured than before.


What is the recovery time?

The type of procedure you have will affect when you can go home and when you can return to work. The type of work that you do will also affect when you can go back to work.


When should I see my healthcare provider?

Keep scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider. Call your provider if you have any symptoms that worry you, especially signs of infection, such as fever, reddened or swollen skin or problems urinating.


What are nonsurgical ways that someone might try to enlarge their penis?

It’s not wise to put lotions, creams or devices on your penis without the approval of or recommendation from your healthcare provider. Most of these “treatments" don’t work and some may actually be dangerous. For instance, using weights on your penis to make it longer may damage your penis. If health experts haven’t evaluated certain products for safety such as creams, lotions or supplements, don’t use them.

Penis enlargement remedies that people may be considering include:

  • Testosterone replacement therapy. Often used in children with micropenis due to low hormone levels, providers administer this therapy as oral, buccal, intramuscular shots, transdermal patches, subdermal (under the skin) and nasal preparations.

  • Creams or lotions.

  • Supplements.

  • Penile traction devices (used before and after surgical procedures).

  • Weights.

Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider in detail before trying any of the remedies listed above.

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