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Penile Extenders, Traction Increase Penis Length


Penile extenders, or penile traction, are a better option to increase penis length than is surgery, according to a new study. Men who are concerned about the length of their penis should consider these nonsurgical options rather than surgery, say the investigators, while some men should even try counseling to quell their worries about the length of their penis.

Penile extenders should be the first choice

Men who worry about the length of their penis fall into two general categories: those who believe their penis is too short, even though it is of normal length; and those whose penis is short for any number of reasons, ranging from congenital abnormalities to the presence of Peyronie’s disease or chronic inflammation, or as a result of excessive circumcision, obesity, or a side effect of radical prostatectomy.

In a recent research review, urologists Marco Oderda and Paola Gontero of the University of Turin reviewed five evidence-based studies of penile surgery and six evidence-based studies of nonsurgical approaches for men who were seeking a lengthening of their penis. In their review, a normal penis size was considered to be 4 cm (1.5 inches) in a flaccid state and more than 7.5 cm (3 inches) in an erect state, taking into consideration a man’s height and body mass index.

This information differs from figures presented by other sources, including the Mayo Clinic, which states that the average penis measures 7.6 to 10.2 cm (3-4 inches) when flaccid and between 12.7 and 17.8 cm (5-6 inches) when erect.

The surgical studies involved a total of 121 men and the nonsurgical studies included 109 men, 72 of whom used a penile extender. Based on their evaluation of the study results, the investigators concluded that “penile extenders represent an effective and durable method of penile lengthening,” achieving an additional length ranging from 0.5 to 2.3 cm with minimal side effects.

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The additional length achieved with penile extenders was comparable to that achieved in men who underwent surgery, which ranged from 1.3 to 2.5 cm. However, the investigators noted that “surgery is characterized by a risk of complications and unwanted outcomes and lack of consensus among the medical profession on the indications for surgery and the techniques used.”

Another technique used to lengthen the penis includes vacuum treatments. The investigators reported that such treatment in 37 men resulted in no significant change in penis length after six months of use and two complications, including numbness and a hematoma (blood under the tissue).

The use of botox may temporarily increase flaccid length and decrease penile retraction, while penoscrotal rings could be helpful for men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction. Exercises to lengthen the penis were not found to be helpful.

The use of penile extenders is not without side effects or some discomfort. Men who choose a penile extender usually must keep the penis in traction for several hours a day for several months, and a small number of men experience pain, itching, bruising, and temporary discoloration.

For men who suffer from “short penis syndrome” even though their organ is of normal size, the authors recommended cognitive behavioral therapy, which could help these men to improve their perception of their body image.

Both Oderda and Gontero concluded that “penile extenders, not surgery, should be the first-line treatment for men seeking a penile lengthening procedure.” Penile extenders were also found to be better than other nonsurgical approaches, including vacuum devices, botox injections, and exercise.

Mayo Clinic
Oderda M, Gontero P. BJU International 2011 Apr; 107(8): 1278-82