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Multidisciplinary approach and management of patients who seek medical advice for penile size concerns: a narrative review

Abstract

We aimed to provide an overview of the strategies available to manage patients concerned about their penile size and to provide useful surgical hints regarding the most common penile enlargement approaches, based on our surgical expertise in this field. A comprehensive research was carried out on MEDLINE/PubMed database to identify pertinent studies concerning penile enlargement issues. The search strategy included a range of keywords; e.g. penis, penile, enlargement, augmentation, lengthening, girth. Management of penile size-related concerns represents a real challenge for the urologist, especially when dealing with patients suffering from penile dysmorphophobic disorder (PDD). A multidisciplinary preoperative assessment, including a psychiatric/psychological evaluation, may help in discerning those patients who would benefit the most from counselling/conservative management from those who would benefit from surgery instead. Conservative approaches include the use of vacuum-based and penile-stretching devices, which have shown encouraging levels of efficacy and safety. Over the last decades, different surgical strategies have been developed, aimed at either increasing flaccid penile length or improving penile girth. Penile lengthening procedures are more established, and satisfactory results can be achieved by experienced, large referrals’ volume, surgeons. To date, there is lack of consensus regarding the penile girth enhancing techniques, and therefore these should be regarded as experimental. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to identify patients with PDD, who should not be offered surgical intervention and should be referred for psychiatric/psychological counselling instead. The surgical approach should be tailored to the subject’s unique anatomy and underlying conditions.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2: Suspensory ligament division, V-Y plasty, fat cells’ injection.
Fig. 3: Apronectomy.
Fig. 4: Skin grafting.
Fig. 5: Surgery for adult webbed penis.
Fig. 6: Vest technique.

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We would like to thank John Wiley & Sons, Inc. for providing permissions to reuse their images (Figs. 3–5).

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Schifano, N., Cakir, O.O., Castiglione, F. et al. Multidisciplinary approach and management of patients who seek medical advice for penile size concerns: a narrative review. Int J Impot Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41443-021-00444-5

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