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Penis Enlargement: Does It Work?

Every guy knows pumps, pills, exercises, and surgery won’t build bigger penises -- Or do they?
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Penis Enlargement: Pills, Creams, and Devices

What else is there? Here's a rundown of some unsavory options.

  • The vacuum pump. This is a cylinder that sucks out air. You stick your penis in and the resulting vacuum draws extra blood into it, making it erect and a little bigger. You then clamp off the penis with a tight ring -- like a tourniquet -- to keep the blood from leaking back into your body. What are the drawbacks? The effect only lasts as long as you have the ring on. Using it for more than 20 to 30 minutes can cause tissue damage.
  • Stretching with weights. Weights or stretching exercises won't bulk up your penis -- it's not a muscle. But hanging weights off your flaccid penis may stretch it a bit, O'Leary says. The catch is that it requires a freakish degree of dedication. "You might have to wear a weight strapped to your penis eight hours a day for six months," says O'Leary. At the end of it, you could be lucky enough to gain about half an inch. Risks include tearing of the tissue, burst blood vessels, and other problems.
  • Pills, supplements, ointments, and creams. They don't work. None of them. "I think it's safe to say that all of that stuff is complete nonsense," Berman says.

Penis Enlargement Surgery

What about surgery? It can work, but there are a lot of cautions. There are two basic penis enlargement surgeries.

  • Lengthening the penis. The most common procedure is to cut the ligament that connects the penis to the pelvic bone. This allows a little more of the shaft -- on average less than an inch -- to become visible outside the body. It's not really lengthening the penis so much as revealing more of what's usually hidden. To prevent the ligament from reattaching, a guy would need weights or stretching devices daily for about six months.
  • Widening the penis. For men who think their penis is too thin, more controversial procedures can thicken it using implanted fat, silicone, or tissue grafts.

One newer -- and low-risk -- procedure can work for certain men. In some cases, the scrotum attaches high up on the shaft of the penis. Partially disconnecting the scrotum can reveal more of the shaft, making the penis look longer. The surgery takes 20 minutes and can be done on an outpatient basis, O'Leary says.

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