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Keywords:

  • vacuum device;
  • micropenis;
  • penis elongation

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. PATIENTS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
  8. REFERENCES

OBJECTIVE

To assess the efficacy of a vacuum device as a noninvasive method for penile elongation.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Between September 2003 and November 2004, 37 sexually active men with a stretched penis length of <10 cm were given vacuum treatment three times a week, for 20 min on each occasion, for 6 months.

RESULTS

After 6 months, the mean penile length had increased from 7.6 cm to 7.9 cm (no significant difference). The efficacy of vacuum treatment was ≈ 10%, and the patient satisfaction rate was 30%. There was one case of haematoma of the penis and one of glans numbness, both resolved spontaneously without any intervention.

CONCLUSION

Vacuum treatment of the penis is not an effective method for penile elongation, but provides psychological satisfaction for some men.


INTRODUCTION

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. PATIENTS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
  8. REFERENCES

A small penis is an important concern for some men after puberty [1,2], and several methods have been proposed to treat this problem [3,4]. Vacuum devices can temporarily increase the size of the penis by increasing the amount of blood in the corpus cavernosa and surrounding tissue. However, their ability to increase absolute penis size is not established. In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy of a vacuum device as a noninvasive method for penis elongation.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. PATIENTS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
  8. REFERENCES

Between September 2003 and November 2004, we evaluated 37 sexually active men who presented with concerns about a small penis. Men with a stretched penis length of <10 cm were enrolled in the study; penis length was measured from its attachment to the symphysis pubis to the tip of the glans, while the penis was fully stretched. Exclusion criteria included: diabetes mellitus, hypertension, psychological problems, Peyronie's plaque, cigarette and alcohol use, history of priapism and penile trauma, and treatment with anticoagulants. Six men were excluded from the study according to these criteria.

The men had two treatment options, surgery or using the vacuum device, and they were informed about the advantages and disadvantages of each method, including the risk of erectile dysfunction after surgery. The men were informed about the probability of treatment failure before written informed consent was obtained, and the Ethical Committee approved the study.

The men were shown how to use the vacuum device (ErectAid; Osbon Medical System, Augusta, GA, USA), during their first therapeutic session in the physician's office. Silicon cream or lubricating gel was applied around the root of the penis and the cylinder (without constriction band) was opened and placed on the penis. Negative pressure was applied slowly and gradually for ≈ 20 min after an erection was achieved. To avoid tissue damage, the men were advised to use the device for <30 min. The therapeutic sessions were repeated three times a week for 6 months. The first session was conducted in the physician's office, and subsequently the men used the device at home. The men were followed-up to assess changes in penile length, satisfaction rate and possible complications. Data were analysed using Student's t-test.

RESULTS

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. PATIENTS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
  8. REFERENCES

Of the 31 men, 27 returned for follow-up at a mean (sd) of 8 (2.5) months. The mean (range) age was 24 (18–35) years. The median stretched penile length was 7.6 (6.9–9.4) cm before treatment and 7.9 (7–9.7) cm after 6 months of vacuum therapy; there was no significant difference between the length before and after treatment (P = 0.2). The efficacy of the method was 11.1% (defined as an increase of ≥ 1 cm in stretched penile length). At the follow-up the men were asked whether they were satisfied with the treatment or not, answering either ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and the patient satisfaction rate was 30%.

There was one case of haematoma of the penis and one of glans numbness, both resolved spontaneously without any medical intervention.

DISCUSSION

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. PATIENTS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
  8. REFERENCES

Micropenis is defined as a stretched penis length of <2 sd and is a concern for some sexually active men [1]. Several causes have been suggested for micropenis, one of them being idiopathic micropenis, and several therapeutic methods were also proposed for this problem, including hormone therapy [2,3]. Lee et al.[2] proposed partial minimal incision and grafting, and showed an increase in penile length from a mean (sd) of 4.5 (1.2) cm to 7.3 (1.6) cm after 3 months. This method was also assessed in other studies [4,5].

To our knowledge, the present study is the first to assess the long-term effects of vacuum treatment for penile elongation. We found no significant sustained increase in penile length after vacuum treatment, so it seems that the answer to the question ‘A vacuum device for penis elongation: fact or fiction?’, is ‘fiction’. However, ≈ 30% of the men reported that they were satisfied with the treatment.

In conclusion, the vacuum device does not seem to be a useful method for penile elongation, but it provides psychological satisfaction for some men.

REFERENCES

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. PATIENTS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
  8. REFERENCES