ASK DR NOVOA – Is there any way to increase the size of a man’s penis?


This is a follow-up on last week’s cosmetic question regarding fat transfer. A seemingly popular and very expensive surgery for a man seeking to increase the size of their penis is fat transfer (via liposuction from the abdomen) to the penis. This procedure costs between $10,000-$20,000.

There are two general categories for the enlargement of the penis (1) Penis lengthing and (2) Penis thickening.

Penile lengthening: the most common technique to lengthen the penis is to cut its suspensory ligament which supports its point of insertion in the body. This results in an average increase of 1-2 inches in length. The function of the ligament is to hold its position in the pubic bone and to keep the penis pointing upwards during erection. After it is cut, that support is no longer present. A potential risk of releasing the suspensory ligament is that the accidental downward thrust of the erect penis during intercourse towards the man’s feet can literally cause the penis to “pop out” of its insertion point (penile fracture) producing extreme pain and requiring surgical correction. This most commonly occurs with the girl on top or when falling on the penis by accident when it is erect.

Increasing penile girth (thickness): The two most common techniques are

  1. injection of liposuctioned fat (fat transfer) under the skin of the penile shaft.

  2. placing grafts of skin and fat within the penile shaft.

The increase in girth or width can be significant, increasing the size of the shaft up to 2 inches (average start size 5 inches increasing to 7 inches around in diameter). However, the appearance of the penis after a fat transfer can be very strange to say the least. Because of the anatomy of the penis, fat cannot be transferred into the head of the penis, thus only increasing the size of the shaft and not the head. The best way to explain the look after this type of surgery is that the penis looks like a “pig in a blanket.” The results can be disappointing. Up to 90% of the fat can be reabsorbed within a year of the transfer. Grafts may do better but failure of the graft can lead to skin breakdown and ulceration of the penis. Also, fat absorption may not be uniform in appearance causing the penis to appear deformed with irregular fatty lumps throughout the shaft.

As with any cosmetic surgery, “Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder.” However, being able to increase the size of a penis l- 2 inches longer or 1-2 inches wider or both may not be worth it if its ends up making the penis look like it got reconstructed from a can of Spam.

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Filed under Blog, Cosmetics, Female Sexuality, Questions of the Day

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