Getting a thicker penis: is thickening surgery safe?

Penis thickening surgery

Penis thickening, a surgery in high demand lately.

Every month we get many questions to our e-mail or comments on this website asking about whether surgery to increase the thickness of the penis is a myth or a reality. Many men who are concerned about the circumference of the penis ask for a treatment that can solve their concerns when it comes to having sex:

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Penis size is a growing concern, we could almost say alarmingly. It is something that we in our practice see day by day. The fact is that, in reality, from a certain size onwards, the concerns seem to be somewhat unfounded (according to the feminine gender) but whatever the case there is always a debate about whether “size matters” as much as men think.

Of course there are different cases, which have no sign of being a problem that can be solved from the “psychological” plane. We have always treated patients whose self-esteem radically appreciates the help of the scalpel because they carry deep complexes related to a small penis (short, or with only a few centimeters in length) because it is often impossible for them to give and receive pleasure. They are patients who benefit from a double therapeutic function: psychological and physical.

The trend we have been observing for 5-10 years, nonetheless, is very different. We are talking about men who develop anxiety and obsession even when their parts are perfectly capable of giving and receiving pleasure, with lengths and volumes that fit perfectly into normality, but for aesthetic or functional reasons they want more.

Has the average size gone down? Very probably not, nor are they any finer now. New standards introduced by advertising and pornography? Very probably yes.

From a strictly medical point of view, few men need to go into the operating room, but almost all of them allude to being able to feel better or safer by gaining some size. We believe there is nothing wrong with that, quite the opposite. What happens is that, probably due to some misinformation, many demand impossible goals or objectives. Worse still, disinformation on the Internet leads them to dangerous practices such as jelqing or to spend huge amounts of money on drugs (creams or pills) that promise a lot and do not give any results.

Just as the surgical intervention to obtain length in the penis is safe although not miraculous (we have performed it for many years with realistic results and promises) and can be applied in a general way, the intervention that promises to increase the diameter of the circumference of the virile member (to make it less thin) has important technical features that prevent it from being indicated to gain mass to any patient, without having some prior considerations.

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How is the technique used for penis thickening?

The intervention that achieves a greater volume in the penis is carried out by transferring fat to the patient’s own penis (penile lipostructure). It is not a matter of extracting fat and injecting it directly under the skin of the penis, which would cause a grotesque result, but of preparing the area and introducing the dermo-fat graft having previously studied and prepared the material with respect to the morphology presented.

It is performed in an operating room and general anaesthesia is not necessary, but as in other treatments (penile curve, penile prosthesis, etc.) local anaesthesia can be used under pharmacological sedation (real sleep induction, with the area to intervene completely asleep).

The lip implant is extracted from the thigh or abdomen, is previously manipulated (selected, cleaned, etc.) and is placed in the most proportionate way possible in the penis, previously “stripped” of the skin in the operating room.

Different materials are beginning to be used that imitate the patient’s own autologous fat, such as collagen bands, or composite materials (hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxyapatite, etc.) specifically prepared for this intention… but at the moment the results are not completely safe either.

Does penis thickening work? Is this surgery 100% safe?

In our experience, penis thickening is a technique that is under continuous revision, being improved day by day, but that still cannot be indicated in a general way in the majority of cases as we do with lengthening surgery. But be careful, stressing the… “still”, and emphasizing the… “in most cases”.

Why do we say that it cannot yet be indicated in a general way in all cases?

In our clinic in Seville we use the technique of thickening in a punctual and specific way when the case we are dealing with demands it. For example, we often apply the fat transfer technique when a patient needs a localized reconstruction phalloplasty, that is, not for the entire length of his penis, but somewhere in it. Accidents, congenital malformations, previous interventions in other clinics that have not gone well, tissue necrosis and other unusual diseases are the cases in which we usually apply this solution within a combined treatment.

Then, speaking in a more aesthetic plane (or far from a reconstruction treatment), there are also cases in which, after studying the patient, we see it possible and safe to implement the technique to satisfy an aesthetic demand, since we foresee that uniform, long-lasting and safe results will be obtained.

How do you know if you are a case that could be a candidate for it?

Well, our answer is always similar: it has to be assessed with care and in depth in consultation.

The most common complications of penis thickening are:

These contra-indications and risks still exceed the threshold of what we could classify as a safe intervention to apply it with aesthetic motives in general, which leads us to be cautious, restrained and conservative is the prevention of future problems.

Right now, in real time, techniques, lines of research and technologies are being perfected and developed that will surely make us take solid steps to achieve universal results with better prognosis, and go from being a surgery with a lot of risk, to being a safe and effective surgery in 100% of cases.

At Andromedi we are very aware of the advances in the use of fat grafts with plasma rich in growth factors or with stem cells to give the transplant as a whole a regenerative and agglutinating character, giving greater consistency and uniformity to the entire cellular process (avoiding fat reabsorption). It is also worth mentioning the advances in new materials of “synthetic skins”, which until now did not give good results but that little by little are giving samples of which in the medium term can give us very interesting results.

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Well and if it is not completely safe for all cases... Why are there Clinics that offer it in a general way to any patient?

Well, this is a complex question that requires an elaborate answer. The quick answer is probably for economic reasons, but it’s not that simple. It must be borne in mind that there are medical centres that are experts in fat transfer techniques (not only penile, but also general) whose rates of problematic cases will be lower than those of other clinics. In other words, they are experts and fail less. But believe us: they also fail, because as we said earlier in this article, even the techniques are not as stable and safe as they should be to be offered in all cases.

It is the medical duty of any urologist to make prevail the real functionality of a penis that could perhaps be thicker, as opposed to an operated penis that becomes useless after a severe complication. It is necessary to work honestly and above all safely.

That is why we repeat that we have to go case by case, person by person, patient by patient. The success of this surgery is often forged before entering the operating room, in previous consultations, where we can assess all the details that influence (anatomy, clinical history, tissue quality, scarring, etc.) an optimal result.

Frequently asked questions about thickening



How many centimetres are usually gained in thickness with penis thickening?

It depends on each patient, their particular conditions and as far as the surgeon can go, but speaking in a range where the technique does not involve a high risk, we speak of between 1 and 2 cm in diameter at most. Going beyond these figures increases the risk.

I have heard that with this intervention the thickness gained is in a state of flaccidity. Is this true?

You can’t say that you don’t notice anything at all when is erected, but we can say that you really notice it when is in resting state. You have to think that if the patient’s erection is of medium or large size, once the penis gains length the transferred fat is distributed evenly. Therefore, those people are seeking a thicker erection.

What about the glans? Can this area of the penis also be thickened?

If the techniques of penis thickening have to be treated cautiously and always going to Centers that have a lot of experience, the techniques of glans thickening on the other hand we totally discourage them. They are based on the controlled inoculation of synthetic material into the glans, which can lead to a number of problems. The volume of the glans is indeed increased, but it rarely leads to a natural and satisfactory aesthetic result. As an added counter-indication, it numbs the nerve endings in this important area of the penis.

I underwent an operation to increase the thickness of my penis and I am not happy. What can I do?

There is no simple and general answer, since each case is a world and an operation of this type badly performed can generate a multitude of unique and special problems. The ideal would be to go to a center specializing in reconstructive phalloplasty as is our case and thoroughly review which have been the errors of planning or execution to assess whether they can be retouched and improved (something very rare, the truth) or if as usual we choose to return (for health and safety) to the state prior to surgery.


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Dr. Natalio Cruz


Dr. Natalio Cruz

El Dr. Cruz, con 25 años de experiencia médica, ha sido hasta 2016 Jefe de la Unidad de Andrología en el Servicio de Urología del Hospital Virgen del Rocío de Sevilla, Coordinador Nacional de Andrología de la Asociación Española de Urología (AEU) y Secretario General de la ESSM, cargos que ha delgado para centrarse de lleno en el ilusionante proyecto de ofrecer una consulta médica privada de alto nivel en Sevilla.

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