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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 Surgery

What about surgery? 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.

The American Urologic Association states that these procedures have not been shown to be safe or effective for increasing the thickness or length of the penis in an adult.

One newer -- and possibly lower-risk -- procedure may 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.

Penis Enlargement Surgery Risks

Before you take out a penile improvement loan and unbuckle your pants, consider the risks of lengthening or widening surgery.

There are no well-studied approaches. No major medical organization approves of these surgeries. Some guys opt to travel to other countries for treatments that aren't approved in the U.S. If that thought has crossed your mind, slow down -- it's time to have a frank talk with your doctor about the risks you'd be taking.

The side effects of lengthening surgeries are numerous and include infections, nerve damage, reduced sensitivity, and difficulty getting an erection. Perhaps most disturbing, scarring can leave you with a penis that's shorter than what you started with. Widening the penis is even more controversial. Side effects can be unsightly -- a lumpy, bumpy, uneven penis.

The few studies that have been done aren't encouraging. The European Urology study looked at 42 men who had procedures to lengthen their penises by cutting the suspensory ligament and found that only 35% were satisfied with the results. Half went on to get more surgery.

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