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Penile length is normal in most men seeking penile lengthening procedures


Concerns over penile size and a desire for a longer penis are common in the male population. The number of male patients seeking an andrological consultation for the problem of ‘short penis’ is increasing. We looked at the numbers of patients presenting to a University andrology clinic over a 2-y period and correlated their perceived penis size with the accepted norms. Sixty-seven patients were evaluated with a median age of 27 (range 16–55) complaining of ‘short penis’ and requesting surgical correction. Clinical history, including the IIEF-5 questionnaire and an accurate physical examination were obtained. Data concerning measures of penile length and circumference were recorded in both the flaccid and fully stretched states and compared to the normal reference range as previously described in the nomogram we recently published (Eur Urol 2001; 39: 183–186.). All patients were also asked to estimate the length of a normal sized penis.

Fourty-four (65.7%) complained of a short penis only while flaccid, 22 patients (32.8%%) while both flaccid and erect, and only one patient (1.5%) was worried only by the erect length of the penis. Fifteen (22.4%) also complained about their penile circumference. Fifty-seven (85%) patients thought a ‘normal’ penile length should range from 10 to 17 cm (median value of 12 cm). Ten patients (15%) were not able to estimate ‘normal’ penile size. No patient was found to have a penile length under the 2.5 percentile according to our nomogram. Forty-two (62.7%) subjects recalled the problem starting in childhood, when they felt that their penis was smaller than their friends'. In 25 patients (37.3%) the problem started in the teenage years after seeing erotic images. Our data show that most men who seek penile lengthening surgery overestimate ‘normal’ penile length. In our series, none of the patients could be classified as having a severely short penis according to our nomogram and none had any anatomical penile abnormality. Most found the use of a nomgram to show them how they compared with other men helpful. We suggest that documentation of such a demonstration should be made for any man seeking an opinion on penile lengthening surgery.

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Correspondence to N Mondaini.

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Mondaini, N., Ponchietti, R., Gontero, P. et al. Penile length is normal in most men seeking penile lengthening procedures. Int J Impot Res 14, 283–286 (2002).

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