Monthly Archive October 2019

What You Need To Know Before Going Under The Knife

For some people, cosmetic surgery is considered a modern medical miracle. A person can get whatever look they desire, simply by paying a surgeon some money. This seems amazing, doesn’t it? Check out the following helpful suggestions if you’re one of the many people considering cosmetic surgery.

Look up the surgeon you’re thinking about to see if he does revisions. If your results aren’t 100% positive, you might have to spend a lot of money having corrective surgery. With many good doctors, you’ll have a “grace period” of up to a year in which they’ll take care of any necessary corrective work for free.

TIP! You should discuss post-surgery antibiotics with your doctor. To minimize the chance of complications from infections, many doctors do have patients begin an antibiotic regimen prior to surgery.

While you don’t want to compromise final results by economizing your plastic surgery, there are legitimate ways to reduce the costs involved. There are a number of foreign countries in which reputable doctors will perform surgeries for much less than doctors in the United States would. This won’t be an option for everybody, but it’s something worth looking into.

You should be aware of the risks any time you will be receiving anesthesia. For example, abnormal heart rhythms can develop during surgery. General anesthesia can cause your heart to beat irregularly. This is due to a lower level of blood pressure from the anesthesia. This causes arrhythmia, or irregular heart beat.


TIP! It is important to find out more about the recovery following an operation; some patients may have to spend an entire month resting. Having a true picture regarding the procedure and recovery times makes it possible to adjust schedules accordingly.

Potential Dangers

  • Discuss potential dangers with your doctor and learn about the ways he or she minimizes the risk of complications. Conduct your own research to make sure what your doctor tells you is true, and be sure to make your decision in light of all potential dangers.
  • Look into different financing options. Most doctors understand that some people are unable to pay ahead of time, and might offer a payment plan. There are many different options out there, you just need to look for them.
  • Take a trip to where your surgery will be held. If you’re going to have outpatient surgery inside the clinic where you’ll see your doctor, you need to ask if you could see the surgery area prior to your surgery. You are apt to be more comfortable when you have familiarized yourself with the clinic or hospital your surgery will be performed at.

TIP! If you are considering having cosmetic surgery, you should look at any alternatives before going under the knife. Sometimes there are other, easier things that can be done first. Discuss costs with your doctor and have him or her go over them in detail. Also, investigate whether or not a payment plan is an option if you do not have the full amount available. You and your physician need to make a final payment arrangement for your procedure.

People will often lose a lot of blood during surgery. Bleeding is common, but excessive bleeding is not and can create complications. This bleeding can take place either during or after the surgery. If too much bleeding happens, it will gather beneath the skin; in this case, more surgery will be needed to fix the problem. It is critical that you talk to your doctor about what is expected as far as bruising and loss of blood after surgery.

The Ins And Outs Of Changing Your Body

Plastic surgery isn’t necessarily a luxury, nor is it only for those who are vain. People who have permanent scarring from accidents or injuries should consider it if they want to get their confidence back.

Always ask your surgeon about his credentials. Talk to your surgeon about where they went to college, when they graduated, and the number of the specific procedures they have done. Before-and-after pictures of patients who have undergone the same procedure (under the care of the same doctor) should also be available to you.

TIP! When discussing your upcoming procedure with your cosmetic surgeon, be sure to make inquiries about his or her credentials. Find out where the surgeon attended medical school and how many procedures have been performed by him.

Look into whether or not your doctor has made statements regarding revisions.

People make mistakes, and if it happens to you, you could be faced with huge medical bills. Ask your surgeon if he provides corrective surgeries that are free of cost.

The use of anesthesia always comes with some level of risk. Abnormal heart rhythms may result during surgery when anesthesia is administered.

In particular, general anesthesia can lead to an irregular heartbeat. You may not get sufficient blood flow through your body while under the influence of anesthesia, causing this problem. Because of this, irregular heart beat, or arrhythmia occurs.

Discuss potential dangers with your doctor and learn about the ways he or she minimizes the risk of complications. Conduct your own research to verify all statements made by the surgeon and reevaluate your plans for surgery, once you are fully aware of all the risks involved.

TIP! Check out your surgeon’s malpractice insurance coverage. If there happens to be a mistake with your procedure, your surgeon needs to have the insurance to cover the fees to repair the damage they have caused.

Look into an alternative options for financing. Doctors understand that finances may be an issue for some, and many offer flexible payment options. There are many different options out there, you just need to look for them.

Educate yourself as much as possible about the procedure you are interested in. By the time the surgeon sits down with you to talk things over, you should already know a lot about your procedure. With the proper information, you will know the right questions to ask and be educated to any inconsistencies between what you know and what the surgeon tells you.

Best candidates for Plastic Surgery

TIP! Prior to surgery, research whether your surgeon has a revision policy. If your results aren’t what you anticipated, you could end up spending a lot of money to have corrective procedures.

There are many reasons people get plastic surgery; feeling better about themselves is one of those reasons.

Plastic surgery can be helpful to people who have scars from burns or other injuries. When a person has suffered a severe burn, he or she no longer feels whole; therefore, plastic surgery is normally called for to improve the person’s self esteem.

Ask to see before and after pictures of patients. A good surgeon will be able to show you a variety of photos showcasing his best work and, if he is trustworthy, may even show you photos of patients whose procedures did not go as perfectly as planned and needed follow-up work.

If you are unimpressed with the cosmetic surgeon’s work as illustrated in the photos, find another doctor.

Before undergoing plastic surgery, make sure that you know the requisite aftercare. You should know whether or not you will need to arrange for outside assistance during your recovery time.

TIP! Any surgical procedure involving anesthesia has inherent risks that need to be taken into consideration. For example, abnormal heart rhythms can develop during surgery.
Allow sufficient time for a complete recovery following your cosmetic procedure. It could take as long as four weeks for you to heal, depending, of course, on the type of operation you had done. If you have a job, it important to take off enough time. Also, don’t try to push yourself too fast.

Not all plastic surgeons are looking out for your best interests. Some may try to push you into procedures that you don’t need, and it could cost you unnecessary money. There are also inherent risks associated with cosmetic surgery, so be sure you discuss these dangers ahead of time. Let the advice you’ve just received guide you to making smart cosmetic surgery choices.

Healthy eating

Getting started on eating healthily can be challenging, but making some simple changes can make a world of difference to our health!

Here you’ll find information about what constitutes a healthy diet, as well as our food plate model which shows the types and proportions of foods needed to make a well-balanced and healthy diet.

Putting the principles of healthy eating into practice is not always the easiest of tasks.

That’s why we’ve created some tasty healthy recipes for you to try, and some helpful tips on meal times. Adopting some of these healthy recipes, and using them to devise your own, should help you take the first step toward healthier eating and a healthier lifestyle.

You’ll also find healthy recipes in our free information packs. Take the first step toward healthier eating and get these healthy recipe cards and other useful healthy eating information by ordering here.

If you’re wondering whether you’re already eating healthily, why not check out our quiz: How healthy is your diet? to really test yourself! If you then need some quick tips on making your everyday eating and cooking habits that bit healthier, why not check out our top tips section?

What is healthy eating?

There’s no need to be confused about food and health any longer.

For the last 20 or 30 years, nutritionists, dieticians and doctors have provided the same diet information and recommended the same basic food and health principles to guide everyone towards healthier eating.

Research into health and diet continues to confirm what we already know – ignore fad diets and follow these pointers to reduce your risk of illness and manage your weight:

  • Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Change the way you cook food – try grilling instead of frying, and steam instead of boiling.
  • Reduce the amount of fat and sugar in your diet.
  • Remember to check food labels for the amount of fat and sugar in foods. To keep yourself right, check out how much is alot?
  • Increase the amount of starchy foods (pasta, rice and potatoes).

Just as good food and health go hand-in-hand, you also need to combine all this with more physical activity to improve your overall health.

It’s also very important to enjoy your healthier eating, as this way you’re more likely to stick to the changes you make to your food and health. Also make sure that what you eat boosts your energy – a healthy balanced diet will do this!

For some more diet information and easy guidance on food and health, and what to eat each day, check out our meal ideas. You can follow some good value, good tasting, healthy recipes to give you more ideas.

Cutting down on fat

Reduce the amount of fat in your diet by grilling instead of frying. If you have to fry, use a spray oil (instead of a pouring oil or a solid fat like lard, margarine or butter). Swap your fatty snacks for breadsticks, scones, fruit, low-fat yoghurts and small sandwiches with low-fat fillings e.g. banana, low-fat cheese and cucumber or salmon.

Low-fat alternatives

Seek out the reduced or low-fat alternatives to your favourite foods. Reduced fat sausages and oven chips for example are easy to find these days – they may be labelled with phrases such as ’healthy choice’. It is worth noting that these foods may still have a substantial amount of fat in them, so it’s worth checking the labels.
for more information on food labels visit the Food Standards Agency.

When it comes to fatty foods and snacks, think F.A.T! Frequency – how often do you eat them? Try to reduce them and / or find lower fat alternatives; Amount – try to reduce the portion sizes; Type – avoid saturated fats.

For example, choose sunflower or olive oil-based margarine. Each gram of fat contains 9 calories – weight for weight, that’s a lot more than other nutrients such as the starchy foods like bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. No wonder it’s best to fill up on starch.

How healthy are you?

Healthy living isn’t just about eating the right food in the right quantities or about getting the right amount of physical activity.

For genuine, all-round health, you need to think about both your diet and your activity levels.

In this area you’ll find interactive tools, namely our bmi (body mass index) calculator and our calorie expenditure calculator. These allow you to assess how healthy you really are.

Calorie expenditure calculator

For a rough guide to how many calories you will burn if you participate in 30 minutes of physical activity at a moderate intensity (remember daily recommendation!) use  calorie expenditure calculator.

BMI calculator

Use  bmi calculator (body mass index calculator) to check out your weight for height and see how it compares with recommendations for health.

Food and health quizzes

In order to help you think about how healthy you really are, why not check out our quizzes in the physical activity and healthy eating sections entitled: how active are you? and how healthy is your diet?


A chronic condition that causes significant pain and suffering, endometriosis is a relatively common disorder among the female population.

However, not all women will experience the same symptoms; in fact some may have endometriosis (also known as endo) and not even realize it due to a lack of severe discomfort. In general, between 3% and 10% of women aged 15 to 45 years have endometriosis. Yet, of those women dealing with infertility, 25% to 35% of them have endometriosis. This is not surprising considering that endo often interferes with a woman’s ability to get pregnant.


In order to properly diagnose endometriosis, it is necessary to have a laparoscopy performed. In some instances, a woman’s endometriosis can be treated during this diagnostic procedure. While this can improve symptoms, it will not completely cure the endometriosis.

Medicinal treatment, including pain killers, can be pursued in order to manage the symptoms associated with the condition. Alternative treatments are also available and some women have found success through dietary changes. Those looking for a more permanent solution may want to consider surgical treatment.

Endometriosis can be both physically and emotionally crippling. Finding ways to cope with the condition is important to maintaining your health. If you suspect that you may have endometriosis, it is important to talk with your doctor about it.

However, even this can be frustrating as not all doctors are familiar with the condition and may pass off your discomfort as normal menstrual pains. While greater public awareness on the matter has helped, experts suggest that it can take as much as nine years before a woman receives a proper diagnosis.

If you are unsure of what to say to your doctor, you may want to establish a script beforehand to ensure that you express all your key points out to your doctor.


Despite their prevalence, it is always devastating when a woman experiences a miscarriage. While a miscarriage can cause a woman to feel alone and isolated, it is important to remember that a large portion of women will experience at least one miscarriage during their reproductive years. If you have had a miscarriage, take the time to understand better why these occur and why it is not your fault.

Why did it Happen – was it My Fault?

When you conceive and a baby is created, it takes half its genes from the sperm and half from the egg that ovulated that month. At the exact time of conception, the cross-over of these genes takes place. Sometimes, for no reason other than bad luck, some information is lost and the pregnancy is destined from that point not to be.
It might be that this lost information is not needed for many weeks, and the pregnancy will continue as normal until that time. When the needed information is not there, it is then that the baby dies and you begin to miscarry. Sometimes when this happens, the miscarriage doesn’t happen right away. This is called a ‘missed’ miscarriage and may not be picked up until some weeks later, following a slight loss of blood or period-type pains.

Another cause might be that the baby did not implant, or bury itself, into the womb lining properly – once again, just due to bad luck.

These are the most common reasons that women miscarry. Not because of something you did or didn’t do, but just because of chance. Not because you drank alcohol, ate some unpasteurised cheese, or didn’t take folic acid. Certainly not because you had sex or didn’t rest enough.

Whether you lay in bed from the day of your positive pregnancy test or went hang-gliding every day wouldn’t have changed things. Its nature’s way of making sure that when you do have a baby, it has the best chance for all of its life. Miscarriage does not mean that you won’t be able to get pregnant again.

How Long Will This Bleeding Last?

Blood loss will probably continue for about 7-10 days, tailing off toward the end of this time. It shouldn’t be heavier than a period, and shouldn’t have an offensive odour. If you’re worried, see your GP or practice nurse for some advice. Normally your next period will come by 6 weeks or so. If they were irregular before, then it may be longer. Also, your fertility returns before your next period, so if you feel pregnant again a pregnancy test might be useful.
I had a D&C; – Will This Cause any Problems?

A D&C; (dilatation and curettage) or evacuation is carried out to reduce the chance of infection and ensure that you don’t continue bleeding over the following weeks. Very rarely, it can cause infection of the womb lining with persistent loss or an offensive odour. It is believed that the chance of this is less likely than had you not undergone a D&C.; If this happens it usually responds well to a short course of antibiotics. The D&C; doesn’t weaken your cervix or make you more likely to miscarry in subsequent pregnancies.
How Common is Miscarriage?

When considering this question, it is helpful to ask how often pregnancy occurs on average each cycle. Studies looking at very sensitive pregnancy tests suggest that pregnancy will occur in at least 60% of natural cycles in fertile couples.
The risk of miscarriage decreases as pregnancy progresses. It is possible that as many as 50% of pregnancies miscarry before implantation in the womb occurs. Early after implantation, pregnancy loss rate is about 30% (i.e. this is still before a pregnancy is clinically recognised). After a pregnancy may be clinically recognised (between days 35-50), about 25% will end in miscarriage. The risk of miscarriage decreases dramatically after the 8th week as the weeks go by.

I’ve Miscarried Before – is it More Than Bad Luck?

Many women miscarry more than once in their life. Considering the frequency of miscarriage, about 1 in 36 women will have 2 miscarriages due to nothing more than chance. Any miscarriages after that might prompt your doctors to suggest some tests to ensure that it isn’t happening for some other reason. If you’re worried have a chat with your GP or one of the Gynaecologists.
Miscarriage may be more common after a previous miscarriage, or less common following previously normal pregnancies. One London study from Prof. Regan’s Recurrent Miscarriage clinic found that the risk of miscarriage is related to the past pregnancy history in the following way:

  • First pregnancy 5%
  • Last pregnancy terminated 6%
  • Last pregnancy a live birth 5%
  • All pregnancies live births 4%
  • 1 previous miscarriage 20%
  • 2 previous miscarriages 28%
  • 3 previous miscarriages 43%
  • Possible Miscarriage Causes

Other things which may contribute to early pregnancy loss include:

  • multiple pregnancy
  • maternal age – there is a rise in miscarriage risk as maternal age increases. For women less than 35, the clinical miscarriage rate is 6.4%, for age 35-40 it is 14.7% and over the age of 40 it is 23.1%.
  • poorly controlled diabetes – but not that which is well controlled
  • scleroderma – a soft tissue disease fever over 100F
  • smoking – 30-50% increased risk (even after correction for socioeconomic status)
  • previous contraceptive pill use results in a slight reduction in the risk of miscarriage
  • occupational exposure to solvents increases the risk of miscarriage

When can We Start Trying Again?

Some couples decide that they want to begin trying for a pregnancy right away, while others feel that this is too soon and need time to get over their loss. There is no ‘right’ thing to do, and you have to go with your feelings.
We normally recommend that you wait for your first period after going home, and begin trying from then, if that’s what you decide. There is evidence that the risk of miscarriage in the next pregnancy is about 1.5 times higher if one cycle does not intervene the pregnancies. It is not imperative, however, and don’t worry if you find yourself pregnant before you even have a period – many successful pregnancies have started that way! In any case there’s no reason you can’t make love as soon as you feel ready. If you don’t want to get pregnant, talk to your GP soon about contraception suitable for you.

What can I do to Improve My Chances for Next Time?

As I mentioned above, the most common reasons for miscarriage can’t be helped, however you can prepare yourself for pregnancy. Taking in regular exercise, a healthy diet, reducing stress and getting your weight to within normal limits gives you something to concentrate on, and improves chances for long-term fertility. Certainly reducing your alcohol intake and stopping smoking will help, too. Remember to start taking folic acid to help normal development of the baby’s nervous system.
How Will I Feel When I go Home?

Reaction to a miscarriage is very variable and once again there’s no ‘right’ way to feel – a range of reactions are possible and normal. In addition to the grief you may feel, your body will be undergoing some profound hormonal adjustments, which may make you feel very emotionally volatile.
Grief is a very normal reaction to the loss you have experienced and it may be as intense as that after any other loss. Many women describe a feeling of numbness and emptiness following a miscarriage. Some couples withdraw, feeling alone and isolated, others may wish to talk about their loss.

Men often feel they have to be strong for their partner and find their loss particularly difficult to talk about. Although it is difficult at first, it may help to try and tell family or close friends how you feel.

Where can I get More Information?

Bookshops such as WH Smith or Dillons stock books on pregnancy and many of these contain some information on miscarriage and optimising health for future pregnancies. Your GP may be able to give some more specific advice. The practice nurse may run a well-woman or preconception clinic – phone the practice for more details.
Help for Family and Friends

If you are reading this on behalf of someone else, here is some advice on how to help them.

  • Do let your genuine concern and caring show.
  • Do be available… to listen or to help with whatever seems needed at the time.
  • Do say you are sorry about what has happened and about their pain.
  • Do allow them to express as much unhappiness as they are feeling and are willing to share.
  • Do encourage them to be patient with themselves and not to expect too much of themselves, nor to impose any ‘shoulds’ on themselves.
  • Do allow them to talk about their loss as much and as often as they want to.
  • Do reassure them that they did everything they could and that it wasn’t their fault.
  • Don’t let your own sense of helplessness keep you from reaching out.
  • Don’t avoid them because you are uncomfortable. Being avoided by friends may add pain to an already painful experience.
  • Don’t say that you know how they feel (unless you have experienced their loss yourself, and then you can be particularly supportive).
  • Don’t say ‘you ought to be feeling better by now’ or anything which implies judgment about their feelings.
  • Don’t tell them what they should feel or do.
  • Don’t change the subject when they mention their loss.
  • Don’t avoid mentioning their loss out of fear of reminding them of their pain (they won’t have forgotten).
  • Don’t try to find something positive about the loss (eg. a moral lesson, closer family ties, etc).
  • Don’t point out that at least they have their other….
  • Don’t say that they can always have another…. (they wanted this one).
  • Don’t say that they should be grateful for….
  • Don’t make comments which in any way suggest that the loss was their fault (there will be enough feelings of doubt and guilt already).

Penis size and enlargement surgery

This article includes information about the size of a so-called ‘normal penis’, about the abnormally small penis, and about treatment.

Problems with judging penis size

Men generally fall into two groups regarding their penis size and appearance. Some men have a short, fat, rather elastic penis when flaccid that stretches and expands very considerably during erection.

Others have a long, impressive-looking flaccid penis that barely changes in size when erect, and simply becomes more rigid. Men in the first group who see men from the second group naked in the showers incorrectly think that they have an abnormally small penis.

Both are normal, just different.

Obesity and very thick growth of pubic hair may make the penis appear smaller. Obese men develop a pad of fat in the pubic area and the flaccid penis becomes buried in it. Weight reduction will improve appearance, as will neatly trimming excessive pubic hair.

Very obese men might not be able to see their penis at all, because of their large and pendulous abdomen.

Men should also remember that their penis will always look shorter when they look down at it, compared with looking straight at their penis in a mirror or across the changing room at another man’s penis. This is a simple optical illusion.

What is a normal penis?

When measuring penis size, it is important to distinguish between the respective sizes of the flaccid, stretched flaccid and erect penis.

Many men are concerned about the apparent size of their flaccid (‘soft’) penis, and worry that other men will laugh at them in the shower, or that sexual partners will ridicule them when they see them naked.

The flaccid penis varies considerably in size, ranging from less than 5cm to over 10cm (2 to 5 inches). The size of the flaccid penis does not determine the size of the erect penis.

Research1 suggests that the average size, measured from the pubic skin (precisely where the penis joins the body) to the opening (urinary orifice) at the tip, is about:

unstretched, flaccid length 8.8cm (3.9 inches)

stretched (pulled firmly out from the body), flaccid length 12.4cm (4.8 inches).

Fewer men seek medical advice about the length of their erect penis. Masters and Johnson (1966) found that the size of the erect penis ranges from 12.5 to 17.5cm (5 to 7 inches). They also demonstrated that men with a smaller flaccid penis had a proportionally greater increase in size on erection. The average size of the erect penis, measured in the same way as above, is around 12.9cm (5.2 inches).

What is an abnormally small penis?

No widely accepted definition of what is an abnormally small penis exists, but guidelines for selection of men for penis enlargement (penile augmentation surgery) recommend that only those with a flaccid length of less than 4cm (1.6 inches) or erect length of less than 7.5cm (3 inches) should be considered for surgery.

Does penis size matter?

The answer to this question rather depends upon your perspective. If you believe that you have a small penis, it may matter very much to you, however unimportant the issue might seem to others.

Some men become quite obsessed by the size of their penis and will consider almost anything, including surgery, to enlarge it. Most of these men will have a penis that falls within the suggested normal size range, but that does not always make them feel normal or better about themselves. Both they, and their doctor, should recognise that this is primarily a psychological problem, connected to physical and sexual self-image, rather than a physical handicap.

Researchers have repeatedly shown that penis size does not affect partner satisfaction during sexual intercourse. Some men born with a severely shortened and malformed penis, even less than 5cm (2 inches) long when erect, enjoy very satisfactory sex with their partners.

Women are much more likely to be bemused by men’s anxieties surrounding penis size, than amused by its actual size.

Penis enlargement treatments

  • Treatments aimed at increasing penile length or girth can be divided into two groups:
  • non-surgical treatments
  • surgical treatments.

Non-surgical treatment

From ancient times, men have tried a wide variety of treatments to enlarge the penis. Because of the sensitive nature of the problem, and because of the surrounding shame and embarrassment, concerned men are very vulnerable to exploitation by the unscrupulous.

While most doctors and other healthcare professionals act in a highly ethical manner, a few individuals will sell remedies and even perform surgery that they know has no evidence of long-term benefit. Some of them have been barred from practice as a consequence of their unethical behaviour. Others are still in practice, waiting to exploit the unsuspecting by relying on the fact that they are likely to be too embarrassed to complain to the authorities about an unsatisfactory outcome.

A glance though the small ads in men’s magazines will reveal the following ‘treatments’ on offer:

  • vacuum ‘developers’
  • weights that attach to the penis to stretch it
  • magnetic or electrical devices to stimulate penis growth
  • ‘hormone’ therapy, sometimes containing testosterone or related sex hormones (steroids)
  • remedies that contain assorted herbs from around the world.

Good-quality research evidence has not been published showing that any of these treatments produce a sustained increase in penis size.

Vacuum devices and weights may produce very small, short-term increases in size, simply because the penis is elastic and can be stretched. However, like an elastic band, it snaps back with time.

More worrying are private clinics that advertise penile augmentation (enlargement) procedures, and make extravagant and misleading claims about their results. Surgery can be of benefit to some men, but certainly not all of them.

Current cosmetic surgical procedures are largely unproven by research, unreliable in their benefits, and may carry the risk of serious complications. Urologists generally consider this type of surgery to be still experimental in nature, and not a standard procedure.2 Seek advice from a trusted doctor, such as your GP or local urologist, about the nature and standards of the clinic before asking for a consultation.

Surgical treatment

Since 1971, penile-lengthening surgery has been offered to men with severe shortening due to congenital abnormalities (abnormalities present from birth), surgery (for penile cancer or Peyronie’s disease) or trauma (accidental or deliberate amputation).

Cosmetic surgery to increase penile girth, or thickness, began in the USA in the late 1980s.

Techniques for cosmetic lengthening were described in 1990. More than 10,000 men have had such surgery, but reliable information about results and complications have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal (a journal where the quality and content of the research is checked by independent experts). Given the number of operations performed, this fact is both astounding and worrying.

Penile lengthening: the most common technique to lengthen the penis is to cut its suspensory ligament then perform plastic surgery to provide additional skin to cover its new length. The results are difficult to judge, as surgeons have not collected data in a systematic manner. The results of the only reliable study indicate that dividing the suspensory ligament alone results in an average increase of 0.5cm (around 0.25in) in length, while skin advancement increases the length gain to 1.6cm (around 0.75in). These figures do not compare well with the claims made by some clinics. Some people, undoubtedly, do better than average, while others do worse.

The suspensory ligament does have a role, in that it helps keep the penis pointing upwards during erection. After it has been divided, that support is no longer present. After surgery, some men find that they have gained a small increase in flaccid length, but the erect penis is about the same size and now points towards the floor!

Increasing penile girth (thickness): this treatment may be performed with a lengthening procedure or on its own. There are two techniques in common use:

injection of liposuctioned fat, from the abdominal wall or thighs, into the dartos fascia, under the skin of the penile shaft.

placing grafts of dermis (a layer of tissue from under the skin surface that is well supplied with blood vessels) and fat from the groin or buttock area within the penile shaft.

The results following injection of liposuctioned fat can be deeply disappointing. Up to 90 per cent of the fat can disappear within a year. Grafts seem to do rather better, but there is no reliable published data on long-term results.

Complications following surgery

At least one person has died from bleeding after augmentation surgery. Apart from the risks of infection and bleeding, specific complications exist for each procedure.

Lengthening procedures

Scrotalisation of the penis, in which the penis appears to arise from the scrotum instead of the abdominal wall.

  • ‘Dog-ears’ at each end of the operation scar.
  • Sloughing of the skin used to increase penile length (the skin has a poor blood supply and therefore dies, leaving a deep, ulcerated area).
  • Girth-increasing procedures
  • Loss of girth due to fat reabsorption.

Nodule formation, if the implanted fat does not disappear uniformly. The penis can be left with a deformed appearance, with irregular fatty lumps all over it.


Some men are severely anxious about their penis size and are prevented from enjoying a normal life as a result.

Men who are born with a small penis may benefit from surgical treatment, but the results are unpredictable. Without surgery, many will still be able to enjoy very satisfactory sexual relationships despite the small size of their penis.

Men that are dissatisfied with the appearance of their penis should think very carefully before requesting cosmetic surgery, especially if the size falls within the normal range.

A better option may be to seek the advice of a sexual and relationship therapist, who might be able to offer help and advice.

Using surgery to treat a psychological problem is fraught with risks. If surgery is the only way in which a man can regain his self-esteem and improve his self-image, they should seek advice from an experienced surgeon working in a reputable clinic.

Men should ask very carefully about the procedures that are offered, the surgeon’s results and any possible complications. They would also be wise to ask another trusted medical adviser for their view.


1. Wessells H, Lue TF, McAninch JW. Penile length in the flaccid and erect states: guidelines for augmentation. Journal of Urology. 156(3):995-7, 1996 Sep.

2. Carson C, Kirby R, Goldstein I. Textbook of Erectile Dysfunction. p513. Isis Medical Media, Oxford 1999.