Penis Enlargement Surgery: What Is it, When It’s Needed & Types

Updated in December 2023

Penis enlargement surgeries are surgical procedures that are aimed at increasing penile length and or increase penile diameter (or girth). It is important to highlight that the Urology Care Foundation (powered by the American Urological Association) does not recommend penile augmentation techniques, as they are not proven to be safe or effective.

Penis enlargement surgeries does not always guarantee the expected results, however, and can even cause serious complications, like penis deformity, scars or infection. 

The need for penis enlargement surgery should be discussed with a urologist to fully understand the benefits and risks associated with each individual case.

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When surgery is needed

Penis enlargement surgery is usually indicated to treat cases of micropenis, when treatment with testosterone injections or human growth hormones are not effective. Although a micropenis does not cause any health problems, it can cause frustration and affect a man’s quality of life and a urologist may recommend penis enlargement surgery if appropriate. 

Some men may have a smaller than desired penis size and may consider penis enlargement surgery. However, surgery should be a last resort, due to the risks associated with the procedure, like deformity, erectile dysfunction, scarring and infection. 

It is important to highlight that penis enlargement surgery is not recommended by the the Urology Care Foundation (powered by the American Urological Association), as these procedures are not proven to be safe or effective.

Types of surgery

Depending on the patient’s goals, surgery can be performed to increase the length or girth of a penis. These changes will usually only be noted when the penis is erect. Some techniques, like aspirating fat around the penis or releasing a ligament that "fixes" the penis to a spot, can help to make the penis appear larger.  

The main types of penis enlargement surgery include: 

1) Thickening surgery

Increasing penis length can be done the following ways: 

  • Fat injections: Liposuction in another part of the body is first performed (on the thighs, stomach or legs for example), and then some of that fat is injected into the penis to give it more volume. 
  • Injecting hyaluronic acid with polymethylmethacrylate: This procedure is known as penile bioplasty. It consists of injecting fillers into an erect penis to increase its diameter. This procedure is associated with many risks however. 
  • Placing a "net": placing an artificial and biodegradable "net" beneath the skin around the penis and help to increase volume.  

Depending on the type of surgery and the specific case, penis enlargement can range from 1.4 to 4 cm in diameter. 

In any case, risks are very elevated. A fat injection can lead to penis deformity for example, and the placement of a "net" can increase the risk for infection. Filler injections are associated with risks from the substances used. It can lead to an exagerrated inflammatory response and lead to penis necrosis. 

2) Lengthening surgery

When the goal is to increase penile length, urologists may recommend cutting the ligament that connects the penis to the pubic bone, This releases the penis from the pubic bone, making it appear larger. 

Although this surgery can increase flaccid penis size by about 2 cm, a noticeable change may not be seen with the erect penis. Men who undergo this procedure are also prone to have increased penis mobility, which may require positioning and adaptation during sex. 

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Surgical recovery

Recovery from penis enlargement surgery is relatively quick. Many men are able to return to work and activity of daily living about a week after the procedure.

In most cases, it is possible to be discharged home the day after surgery. Doctors will recommend rest until stitches are removed, and analgesics and anti-inflammatories may be prescribed. Dressings should remain clean and dry. 

Men are able to resume sexual activity about 6 weeks later (or whenever their doctor clears them). More intense physical activity, like running or working out, can be restarted about 3 months later. 

Other ways to increase penis size

Other ways to increase penis size include penis enlargement pills and suction pumps, which increase blood flow to the penis and give it a larger appearance. 

Overweight men may notice more fat around their penis, and the urologist can also recommend liposuction around the genital area to improve overall appearance. Jelqing is also a cost-effective and simple way to naturally increase penis size. However there are no scientific studies available to support whether this method is effective.

Check out other popular penis enlargement techniques and find out if they really work.