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Penis Enlargement: Augmentation Phalloplasty

Augmentation phaloplasty is surgery to enlarge the penis (1). Surgeons can make the penis appear longer and wider, but only at rest, not during an erection; so it may benefit a man who feels terribly self-conscious in the locker room, but does not make him a better lover. Most women cannot climax with conventional penile, vaginal lovemaking anyway, because it does not stimulate the clitoris. Having a longer and wider penis does not enhance lovemaking for the man or his partner.

The surgery can cause complications such as poor appearance, irregular fat nodules, skin deformity and scarring (2). A recent medical study shows that large penises are more likely than smaller ones to break condoms, although penile size has nothing to do with condom slippage (3). Other studies show that smoking reduces the size of a man's erect penis (4).

Surgeons used to widen the penis by injecting fat from the belly into the penis, but they don't do it anymore because fat dies when it is removed without its blood supply. Now, they make a Z-shaped cut along the penis and then cut out a narrow 2 inch strip of fat with its overlying skin from the groin and move it while it is still attached to its blood supply to the lengthwise cut in the penis and suture it in place. They can also make the penis appear longer. During an erection, the penis is attached to the body by large ligaments that make it stand forward and up at an angle of 135 degrees with the ground. Surgeons can cut these ligaments, so the penis appears longer, but only when it is flaccid at rest.

1) GJ Alter. Augmentation phalloplasty. Urologic Clinics of North America 22: 4 (NOV 1995):887.

2) H Wessells, TF Lue, JW Mcaninch. Complications of penile lengthening and augmentation seen at 1 referral center. Journal of Urology 155: 5 (MAY 1996):1617-1620. Results: The chief complaint was poor cosmetic appearance (irregular residual fat nodules in 7 men, skin deformity and scarring in 4 and scrotalization in 4). Reoperation was necessary in 6 patients, wound complications occurred in 6 and sexual dysfunction was reported by 4. Only 1 patient reported a subjective increase in penile length.

3) AMA Smith, D Jolley, J Hocking, K Benton, J Gerofi. Does penis size influence condom slippage and breakage? International Journal of STD & AIDS 9: 8 (AUG 1998):444-447.

4) Pedram Salimpour, M.D. Boston U. School of Medicine presented to the International Society of Impotence Research in Amsterdam, August, 1998.

Checked 8/9/05

May 16th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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