The Popularity of Penis Fillers – and When Things Go Wrong

Siobhan Harris

Disclosures

November 26, 2018

Men who feel they don't measure up in terms of penis size are becoming more likely to turn to surgical or cosmetic procedures.

However, complications are becoming more common – and one expert says increasingly men are turning to the NHS to correct problems when treatments go wrong.

Multi-million Pound Industry

As far back as the Greek God Priapus, big penises have been coveted. Nowadays there's evidence that watching pornography can make some men feel they want to have a larger penis.

A study carried out by International Andrology, a medical clinic in London specialising in men's sexual and reproductive health, found that there's a correlation between watching porn and wanting a bigger penis.

It found half of the men who watched porn were dissatisfied with their penis size compared with 30% of men who didn't watch porn.

However, some men feel inadequate as they are unaware of the size of a 'normal' penis.

A 2015 study by King's College London published in British Journal of Urology (BJU) International found that the average length of a flaccid penis was 9.16 cm (3.6 inches) and an erect penis 13.12 cm (5.2 inches)

These days, more and more men who feel under-endowed are taking matters into their own hands.

Penis enlargement is a multimillion pound industry. Products available include pills and creams, vacuum pumps or penis extenders, but there's no real scientific evidence that any of them work.

Men can go down the route of penis extension surgery, which involves cutting a ligament to make a longer flaccid penis, but doesn't change the length of the erect penis. It may also alter the angle of penetration, making for more uncomfortable intercourse.

The Popularity of Penis Fillers

A procedure that is gaining in popularity is the penis filler, which increases the girth of the penis.

Two leading cosmetic surgery clinics for male sexual health, Moorgate Aesthetics and Androfill, have told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme that they carry out more than 130 procedures a month. That's up 20-fold on 2015. 

The procedure costs around £3000 pounds. There can be complications and the desired result isn't always achieved.

   

Mr Asif Muneer


Medscape UK asked consultant urological surgeon and andrologist Mr Asif Muneer, from The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the British Association of Urological Surgeons, about his views on penis fillers.

 

 

Q&A

Medscape UK: Why do you think more men are having penis fillers?

Mr Muneer: The increasing use of social media, online resources and easier access to information relating to penis size and girth has led to an increasing number of men requesting fillers or surgery to increase the penile length or girth. If one was to search the internet, hundreds of options are available promising to increase penile size – however the majority do not have any clinical evidence or robust outcome data.

Medscape UK: What does the penis filler procedure involve?

Mr Muneer: A number of fillers are often tried and can vary from autologous adipose tissue injections to hyaluronic acid, which is commonly used in cosmetic surgery. For girth enhancement several injections are performed under the skin and subcutaneous tissue. The majority of these are only temporary and often need repeat injections.

Medscape UK: What are the results?

Mr Muneer: Depending on the compound used these fillers do not increase penile length. They can enhance girth but in a fairly uneven fashion. Fat injections end up giving a lumpy appearance to the penile shaft as the adipose tissue injected can never distribute itself evenly around the shaft. As these procedures are expensive some individuals have taken to self-injection or unlicensed injections such as silicone, oils, and liquid paraffin.

Medscape UK: What are the possible complications and side effects?

Mr Muneer: Complications relate to the development of lymphoedema, granulomatous reactions and skin necrosis. This is especially common after injection with unlicensed compounds, which can result in a severe granulomatous reaction and an unnatural looking penis, often making intercourse difficult.

Medscape UK: You say some men are injecting DIY fillers. What corrective treatment does the NHS have to carry out on occasion because of this?

Mr Muneer: We are seeing this more often. If small amounts are injected, the filler can be removed but where there is skin loss or severe reactions, often the whole penile shaft skin requires removal followed by skin grafting.

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