A new study published in the journal Sexual Medicine Reporting might make you think twice before attempting to enhance the size of your penis.
A team of urologists at King’s College Hospital in London teamed up with researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London to carry out a review of 1,192 men in 17 different studies.
The team found that the majority of these men claim their treatments were ineffective. In fact, some procedures could have led to serious complications down the road — such as permanent numbness, deformity, and erectile dysfunction.
In total, the study participants underwent 21 different types of treatment to enhance their penis size.
As far as nonsurgical procedures, researchers looked at extenders, injectables to increase girth, and vacuum devices believed to help with erectile dysfunction. The surgical interventions included procedures like suspensory ligament incision, tissue grafting, and penile disassembly.
It's important to note that most of the surgical treatments are administered privately and are considered cosmetic, though some are applied to folks who’ve experienced bodily trauma and, in those cases, would be considered reconstructive.
In nonsurgical treatments, the study reports that when using extenders, some of the men’s penises did increase in length but only by less than 2 cm (or 0.79 inches). Those using injectables did see an increase in girth but the rate of complications was high. (Which complications weren't described by the study's authors.) Lastly, men who used a vacuum device reported no increased size of their penis.
For surgical treatments, men who underwent suspensory ligament incision, tissue grafting, dermal fat, or penile disassembly, did report a significant size increase. However, none of these procedures were fully verified and “complications were not infrequent,” the study reports.
“[The study] found overall treatment outcomes were poor, with low satisfaction rates and significant risk of major complications,” the researchers write. “Treatment of small penis in normal men is supported by scant, low-quality evidence. Structured counseling should be always performed, with extenders eventually used by those still seeking enhancement.”
Researchers concluded that injectables or surgery should remain the last option, arguing that they ought to be considered unethical to perform outside of clinical trials.