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2 August 2005
Penile Enlargement Study Produces Mixed Results
by George Atkinson

Urologists and plastic surgeons from the Naval and Veterans Hospital of Athens have produced a study that looks at the physical outcomes and reported satisfaction levels of men who had chosen to undergo penis enlargement surgery (phalloplasty). The study, published in the journal European Urology, found that most of the men reported a significant improvement in their sexual self-esteem despite the fact that they also reported that the procedure had not resulted in the size alterations they were hoping for.

The subjects of the study were men suffering from a psychological condition called penile dysmorphophobia. This condition leads men to believe their penis size is inadequate when in fact it is completely within the boundaries of what is considered normal. The men underwent three variants of enlargement surgery:

  • 50 percent of the men underwent penile lengthening (suprapubic skin advancement - ligamentolysis).
  • 30 percent of the men underwent both penile lengthening and shaft thickening (free dermal-fat graft shaft coverage.
  • 20 percent of the men underwent panniculectomy (a surgical procedure in which excess fat from around the pubic area is removed) and penile lengthening.

The doctors involved reported no complications with any of the procedures and all the men involved recovered normally through the post-operative phase. The men were then examined to compare the physical results, and asked to complete a questionnaire to help evaluate the psychological outcomes.

The researchers found an average length gain of 1.6 cm (0.6 inch), with the greatest increase being 2.3 cm (0.9 inch). The study noted that the size increases "were not spectacular" and that the increases had failed to meet the "great expectations" of the subjects. The average gain in circumference was 2.3 cm (0.9 inch) at the base and 2.6 cm (1.0 inch) below the glans (head of the penis).

Despite the subjects' apparent disappointment with the modest size increases, the researchers said that significant sexual self-esteem and sexual functioning improvement was reported by the majority - 91 percent - of the patients.

Because of the significant improvement in sexual self-esteem and function, the researchers concluded that augmentation phalloplasty was a reasonable treatment option for informed men who suffer from penile dysmorphophobia.

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