PENIS LENGTHENING SURGERY - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Penis lengthening is a new cosmetic procedure. Because informed patients are so important to the success of any plastic surgery, Dr. Robert H. Stubbs, a Canadian and American Board Certified Plastic Surgeon has prepared this information sheet for you. It may not answer all of your questions, but it will help you understand what penis lengthening involves.
Q: WHAT IS PENIS LENGTHENING SURGERY?
A: The cosmetic procedure was pioneered by Dr. Long, Professor of Plastic Surgery, Wuhan, China. In 1984, a young man who had his penis bitten off by a dog during infancy, asked Dr. Long if he could lengthen his penis so that he might marry. A reconstructive procedure using plastic surgical techniques was performed successfully. Dr. Long was then able to offer his knowledge and skill to cosmetic patients who, although normal, were unhappy with their size. Dr. Stubbs visited Dr. Long in 1993. After returning to Canada, he modified and improved the technique for the more demanding North American male. To date, Dr. Stubbs has performed over 1000 cosmetic phalloplasty procedures including more than 500 lengthening operations.
Q: HOW IS THE SURGERY PERFORMED?
A: The surgery is performed in an ambulatory facility under intravenous sedation and local anesthesia. Incisions are made at the root of the penis (junction of the penis and pubic area). The penis is then released from its attachments (suspensory ligaments) to the pubic symphysis. The space is closed with local tissue and no implant is used. Skin from the penis and/or the pubic area is used to cover the new extended penis. Post-op traction is used to reduce the chance of retraction and provide more natural shaft skin.
Q: WILL PENIS FUNCTION BE AFFECTED?
A: Function (urination and copulation) should not be affected. But, the angle of the erection will change slightly from more vertical to more horizontal.
Q: DOES SURGERY AFFECT PENIS SENSATION?
A: Transitory changes in feeling due to swelling and bruising are normal after any surgery. Permanent loss of feeling would be a rare complication.
Q: DOES INSURANCE COVER THIS PROCEDURE?
Q: WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR THIS SURGERY?
A: Cosmetic surgery is elective and best performed on healthy realistic patients. Smokers are advised to stop for two weeks prior and at least two months post surgery. Complete cessation is recommended as new research indicates that smokers heal very slowly.
Q: WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
A: Although the technique is not complex, the location and its significance to the patient makes the surgery risky. Patients have only one penis and it is therefore important that they read the consent sheet very carefully. Questions should be answered before and not after the procedure. Please see the Special Consent to Penis Lengthening Surgery sheet where the risks are outlined in detail.
Q: HOW LONG DOES THE SURGERY TAKE?
A: The procedure takes a couple of hours and the patient remains for observation for at least 3 hours prior to discharge. Patients must have someone stay with them the first post-op night.
Q: WHEN CAN YOU RETURN TO WORK?
A: Light duties may be resumed in a week but it is best to take at least two weeks off work, especially if it is strenuous.
Q: WHEN CAN SEXUAL ACTIVITIES BE RESUMED?
A: It is recommended that the patient refrain from sexual activities for at least 4 weeks. Medication to reduce nocturnal stimulation is given for 10 days post-op.
Q: WHAT IS TO BE EXPECTED DURING THE HEALING PHASE?
A: The penis and scrotum are usually swollen and bruised for two to three weeks. Pain is not severe. Soreness in the groin and pubic regions which lasts for about ten days is controlled with light oral analgesics. The scar in the pubic hair area may take many months to fade and soften but it is hidden and not usually a concern.
Q: HOW MUCH CAN THE PENIS BE LENGTHENED?
A: The amount varies with each individual. At present, there is no test to determine the amount pre-operatively. From 1/2 to 2 inches is a reasonable estimate. Therefore men who are larger than average should carefully consider the risks before undergoing surgery. Also, the use of weights (or other means of traction) attached to the penis after surgery not only maintains the new length, but also may add further length.
Q: WHAT IS THE FOLLOW-UP AFTER SURGERY?
A: Patients are seen the next day. Their dressings are changed and instructions are given with respect to bathing and other activities. It is recommended that patients wear loose clothing on the day of surgery and for the early healing period. The next visit is two to three days later at which time most patients are able to start their own wound care, shaft wrapping and commence regular bathing. Sutures are removed 7-10 days post-op. Lead weights or other forms of traction are started a few weeks after the stitches are out and the incisions are firmly sealed (Smokers beware!). Some patients maintain traction for up to 6 months after surgery. This reduces the chance of retraction, stretches shaft skin and in some cases results in further lengthening by stretching tissues which could not be cut at surgery.
Q: HOW CAN OUT OF TOWN PATIENTS BE TREATED?
A: You should forward a complete physical examination, blood work, urinalysis, Hep C and an AIDS test. Our nurses will try their best to assist out of town patients, but we can not guarantee a surgical booking until Dr. Stubbs has examined the individual. It may be possible to coordinate everything with only one extended trip to Toronto. We also recommend that patients stay in Toronto for at least one week after surgery. All patients must have a companion (friend, spouse or nurse) with them for the night after surgery. Post-op convalescence can be arranged at an extra cost.
Q: CAN LENGTH AND GIRTH PROCEDURES BE PERFORMED AT THE SAME TIME?
A: No. Patients should wait for 6-12 months after lengthening before fat injection or dermal-fat grafting is performed. Injected fat cells are mobile and fragile. They would be adversely affected by the post-op penis lengthening protocol.
Q:WHAT ARE THE RESULTS
A: Please see the Surgical Art Gallery
for some examples of this procedure.
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