Penile elongation and thickening—a myth? Is there a cosmetic or medical indication?


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Summary. Penile lengthening and thickening techniques can be performed in different ways for treatment of congenital penile hypoplasia and dysmorphophobia in terms of aesthetics or function. Particularly for penile lengthening, a combination of surgery and stretcher device is suggested. Surgery for lengthening comprises three different stages: suture with plane alternating edges of the pubo-penile skin, infrapubic lipectomy, and section of the suspensory ligament. Our approach to penile thickening differs depending on whether dysmorphophobia is related to aesthetics or function. While pericavernosal apposition of autografts is suggested in the first case, a technique developed by the authors is performed in the latter, which comprises bilateral longitudinal incision of the corpora cavernosa and enlargement of the tunica albuginea by means of saphenous grafts. The endothelial lining, which constitutes the internal surface of the veins, is highly compatible with the endothelium of the corpora cavernosa; therefore, the incidence of postoperative subareolar fibrosis and occlusive vein pathology is lower than after surgery performed with techniques using grafts of other material. The described procedure did not cause postoperative complications in terms of infection, wound healing and cosmetic appearance. All subjects resumed regular sexual activity after 4 months without any disturbance or functional limitation. Diametrical measurements at the 9-month follow-up revealed an increase of 1.1–2.1 cm. The reliability and efficiency of these procedures are strongly influenced by factors other than technical problems; however, expert diagnosis and psychological consultation in the case of dysmorphophobia will confirm and specify the indications.