THE SIZE AND SHAPE OF A MAN’S PENIS CAN AFFECT BODY IMAGE AND CONFIDENCE, SAYS SYDNEY COSMETIC SURGEON DR COLIN MOORE.
Most patients who seek a penile enlargement have a desire to not only feel more confident but to also correct issues such as performance anxiety or impotence that have stemmed from their embarrassment.
‘They usually visit me for penile enlargement surgery for both physical and psychological reasons,’ says Dr Moore. Penile enlargement surgery, also known as phalloplasty, is an outpatient procedure to enlarge the penis permanently.
Dr Moore says while length is a primary concern, a phalloplasty can also address the width of the penis. ‘We can widen and lengthen the penis during one surgical procedure in most cases, which is what many men opt for,’he says. ‘In its erect state the length of the penis can usually be increased between 2.5 and 5cm, and in its flaccid state the length can normally be doubled. Width can be increased by around 1 to 2cm in both the flaccid and erect state.’
Dr Moore says the procedure exteriorises the part of the penis that is hidden inside the body, which he says makes for about one third of the total penis length. ‘Tissue is placed between the pubic bone and the lengthened penis, and it is this manoeuvre plus certain aspects of the post-operative care that makes this operation the only one that increases the size of the erect penis. Other penis-lengthening procedures increase only the flaccid length,’ he says. ‘To widen the penis, we use dermal fat grafts taken from the stomach or buttocks to widen the erectile cylinders of the penis underneath the skin. This ensures the increase in diameter is even all along the shaft and back inside the tissues deep within the intra-pubic region.’
Dr Moore stresses the difference between dermal fat grafts and fat injections. ‘Fat transfers by injection often have excellent initial results but over time the fat is reabsorbed,’ he says. ‘In a significant number of patients, some pockets of fat persist and cause a distorted, lumpy appearance. This can be very difficult to repair and usually requires complete removal of the remaining fat followed by dermal fat graft surgery.’
A phalloplasty takes around four hours to complete. For the next 48 to 72 hours after treatment, the patient is fitted with a ‘pain-buster’ system which uses a catheter to release local anaesthetic to the area. ‘During this time the patient takes medication to suppress erections so the grafts and sutures don’t dislodge during the healing process,’ explains Dr Moore. ‘As well as this, patients should refrain from sex for at least six weeks.’
After surgery, patients can experience swelling for up to three months. If post-operative instructions are followed, including two weeks of bed rest, Dr Moore says recovery will not be painful in most cases. Bandaging is removed after one week and the sutures will dissolve by themselves. Patients are typically back to normal activities in four to six weeks, although the tissues may not fully return to normal for nine to 18 months after surgery. Scarring fades between one and three years, depending on the type of graft donor site performed. On average, Dr Moore performs 200 phalloplasties per year, with the majority of patients ranging in age from their late 20s to early 60s. The procedure can significantly increase a man’s confidence, he says.