Penis Enlargement Treatments: Do They Work?

There's only one method that actually works long-term

Couple in Park
Couple in Park. Justin Setterfield / Staff / Getty Images

Because the desire for a bigger penis is both a preoccupation and a source of concern for many men, the penis enlargement "market" has flourished. So what are all the options? What works and what doesn't?

There are literally hundreds of advertisements and articles on penis enlargement, and your email inbox probably suffers as a result. They talk about the amazing, "unbelievable" results that can be achieved, but the only honest word here is "unbelievable." Save your money.

Nothing currently on the market has been shown to permanently increase penis size.

Vacuum Devices for Penis Enlargement

Vacuum devices are often recommended for treating impotence and they're also advertised for penis enlargement because the penis does increase in size for a time.

Vacuum pumps are placed over the penis and then air is drawn from the tube, creating pressure. As a result, blood is rapidly forced into the penis, as happens in an erection. A ring is then applied temporarily to the base of the penis to stop the blood from draining away too quickly. Penis enlargement will only last for around 24 hours.

There can also be side effects. Blood vessels can rupture, causing swelling and pain. If you do want to try a vacuum device for erectile problems, or you feel it might be a pleasant sensation, you need to be aware of the potential dangers and the fact that some devices out there are poorly designed.

Penis Exercises

As the penis does not contain any muscles, there are no exercises or massage techniques that will enlarge it (except in the short-term). Doing penis stretches, or attaching penis weights to your genitals is ultimately a waste of time (and may be painful).

Surgery for Penis Enlargement

Surgery offers the only permanent solution for enlargement of the penis.

Through surgery, the penis can be visually enlarged, usually by just over an inch. The surgeon will cut the ligaments that hold the penis in its usual position, allowing the penis to descend. Weights, or stretching devices, are then used for a few months to affect a permanent increase in size. The procedure may result in scar tissue, the erection will point down, and the base of the penis will be hairy.

Another surgical technique known as a dermal implant can increase girth and length. This procedure transplants fat cells from other parts of the body to the penis. As the size of the head of the penis cannot be increased, the results can lead to a penis with an unusual shape. And sometimes the distribution of the grafted cells results in clumping and gives a far from smooth result. Many urologists will not perform this type of surgery unless there are good therapeutic reasons.

Post Operative Complications and Penis Enlargement

As with any form of surgery, there are a number of potential risks — both psychological and physical.

 The results of penis enhancement surgery do not satisfy everyone. This is partly because they hope such procedures will cure, or be the answer to, a problem — and they're often not fulfilled.

During any surgical technique, things can go wrong, albeit very rarely. These include post-operative infections, damage to surrounding tissue and nerves, and potential side effects of an anesthesia.

Anxiety may detract from the pleasure or fantasy of a bigger penis. Most men are surprised to learn that average erect penis size is 5.6 inches, and they fall well within the "normal" range. For the most part, enlargement surgery is only recommended for patients who have deformities or functional abnormalities of the penis.

Sources:

Journal of Sexual Medicine "Erect penile length and circumference dimensions of 1,661 sexually active men in the United States" July 2013.

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