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Penis enlargement still investigational.

According to the UK Department of Health website, penis enlargement aims to increase "the length and/or girth of the penis', as follows:

"Both are surgical operations and some patients choose to have both at the same time. The entire procedure lasts just over an hour and usually takes place under a general anaesthetic. It may be necessary to include circumcision as part of the procedure. To increase the length of the penis, the surgeon will make an incision at the base of the penis and cut the ligament that attaches the penis to the body. This will cause the penis to extend out further from the body. The penis is not, therefore, actually longer but more of it is allowed to stick out from the body. The girth of the penis can be increased either by sewing strips of fat underneath the skin of the penis--a process called dermal fat grafting; or by injecting fatty tissue into the penis--this is called fat transfer. The results: The penis should appear longer and/or wider, but it will not be longer when erect. If fat transfer has been used then this is not permanent and will disappear over time. The risks: Sometimes the angle of the erection may be slightly lower after surgery, but this should not affect sexual intercourse. There is also a risk that there will be no increase in length. If fat transfer is used to increase girth, then it is possible for the penis to end up with an irregular shape. There is also the risk of loss of sensation and impotence." (1)


This was written in 2005 and as of February 2010 had not been amended. Yet a 2008 review of the literature on penis enlargement, which says that requests for this surgery by men have been increasing, starts from the context that "most men who request surgical penile enhancement have a normal-sized and fully functional penis but visualize their penises as small (psychological dysmorphism)". Of the 34 papers analysed in the review, most were about small cohorts of patients. Penis length was extended by about 1-2 cm, though girth could grow by 2.5 cm. The main findings and conclusions of the review were:

"Unwanted outcomes and complications, namely penile deformity, paradoxical penile shortening, disagreeable scarring, granuloma formation, migration of injected material, and sexual dysfunction were reported frequently in these studies. Disappointing short- and long-term patient satisfaction rates following these procedures were also reported in most studies. To date, the use of cosmetic surgery to enlarge the penis remains highly controversial. There is a lack of any standardization of all described procedures. Indications and outcome measures are poorly defined, and the reported complications are unacceptably high. In our opinion, until new, reliable, and more objective and reproducible data are available, these procedures should be regarded as investigational and patients should be discouraged from undergoing these invasive treatments." (2)

(1.) Department of Health. Cosmetic surgery: penis enlargement (or penis augmentation surgery or phalloplasty). At: < CosmeticSurgery/DH_4122232>. Accessed 2 February 2010.

(2.) Vardi Y, Har-Shai Y, Gil T, et al. A critical analysis of penile enhancement procedures for patients with normal penile size: surgical techniques, success, and complications. European Urology 2008;s4(5):1042-50.
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Title Annotation:ROUND UP: Cosmetic surgery
Publication:Reproductive Health Matters
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 1, 2010
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