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From facelifts to breast implants, liposuction to tummy tucks, CS&B features articles on the latest procedures. This information comes straight from the experts in the field, making CS&B the most accurate source for what consumers want to know (and need to know) about cosmetic surgery today
Although things aren’t said, it doesn’t mean they’re not thought about or obsessed over. Nowhere is this more applicable than in conversations surrounding our nether regions. Yes, due to the ‘hush-hush’ nature of human genitalia, we sometimes stare into bathroom mirrors quietly pondering the plight of a small dong or laxed vagina with unsightly loose skin. While it’s understandable why we’re hesitant to speak of such things, reproductive organs are vital not only for reproduction, but overall enhancement of our sexual, physical and emotional health. Hence, it’s time we get informed and be conscious of our ‘no-no’ zones as procedural awareness can either stop you from making a big mistake or conversely, undertake one of the best surgical decisions ever made. When the shlong goes wrong
Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr. Yap Lok Huei has many a time come across patients who’ve subjected themselves to penile enlargement procedures. Though a lesser-known treatment, Dr. Yap reveals there’s still a market for it despite its high complication rates. As a plastic surgeon who has treated numerous botched genitalia, Dr. Yap strongly stresses the importance of public awareness, specifically against unnecessary procedures that neither provides size nor girth, but instead leave patients depressed and perplexed as to why one even considered such a needless treatment in the first place. In this article, Dr. Yap explains why men should steer clear from penile enlargement treatments and how such procedures may turn the member into an unrecognizable infected bulge that requires reconstructive surgery.
Dr. Yap divulges that it is unfortunate that minimally-invasive penile enlargement treatments are still available due to demand. In most instances, some men who undergo the procedure feel they need extra girth, while others may desire length. To meet this demand, there are practitioners who inject filler material into the penis to increase its size and girth, but such procedures are ill-advised and associated with high complications rates. Dr. Yap reveals, “There are many forms of filler materials ranging from mineral oil, silicone and hyaluronic acid that are injected into the genitalia but the most common material that’s utilised by lay-practitioners is non-medical grade liquid silicone due to its wide availability.” He adds, “I have also come across traditional methods where practitioners wrap the penis (under the foreskin) with hemp or fibres to encourage girth.” Due to high complication rates, Dr. Yap warns that procedures with reasonable scientific basis such as fat grafting should be avoided as hardening, nodule formation and scarring may occur.
Dr. Yap states, “On the whole, Malaysian patients are not well-informed of the potential dangers, risks and problems that can occur because of substance contaminants, materials injected in wrong anatomical regions or if clinics simply aren’t sterile.” Dr. Yap also points out that non-medical grade silicone is capable of causing inflammatory and reactive responses. “The dangerous aspect of non-medical grade silicone is its inability to naturally break down,” Dr. Yap cautions. Although patients may not immediately find signs of complication, most will experience recurrent redness, irritation, pain, lumpiness and change in shape as well as severe tissue swelling and wildly abnormal penis appearances. Furthermore, a small number of patients may correspondingly suffer urinating troubles from urethra damage due to infection,” Dr. Yap alerts. Many also experience coital difficulties because the penis has turned an oddly cauliflower shape, caused by gross swelling.
Because injectables are made from substances that aren’t absorbable, patients may experience delayed changes where materials slowly migrate, changing the genital’s shape over time. If practitioners inject substances along the shaft to encourage length, materials will occasionally accumulate behind the penis and may result in a doughnut shape around the head. Such problems are difficult to correct because associated surgery can involve certain levels of risk to the native skin. He says, “Surgeons may find that materials – whatever they may be – are very tightly bound to the skin where substances are difficult to separate.” In which case, he explains, “Entire chunks of overlying skin will need to be removed not only because it’s stuck to materials but also because it’s badly damaged, infected and swollen.” While Dr. Yap has not personally come across such patients, he has also heard of some men who place beads or pearls under the foreskin. There are other extreme situations where people have even inserted ball bearings under the skin to allegedly improve not only the genitalia’s width but also to prolong intercourse while improving sexual sensation for both the man and woman. He admits, “Although I don’t know how effective these insertions are, it’s definitely not something I’d recommend as the risks are too great.”
In any case, Dr. Yap fervently believes that one has to be very careful when considering penile enlargement treatments, due to complications if carried out by inexperienced practitioners. “We have accumulated information regarding liquid injectables and over the years, liquid silicone has proven to cause tissue breakdown and damage when injected in the breasts and thus, it’s not surprising they cause the same issues in the penis as well.”
When surgeons come across complications and have no choice but to excise both the underlying skin and attached injected materials, reconstructive surgery will call for significant skin resurfacing or skin grafts. In extreme situations, patients will require further additions of tissue transfer or skin flaps from the thigh. Dr. Yap explains, “Most patients can undergo sufficient penile restoration with a properly designed skin graft.” However, he does clarify that performing grafts on this location isn’t simple because one has to size skin transfers very appropriately to allow some remaining function and to permit skin stretching during erections. Likewise, surgeons must ensure that it’s tight enough that skin is in contact with the shaft because grafts need blood supply. There have also been cases where due to scarring or deposits of fibrous tissues. This can be caused by deep injections and incorrectly done fat grafts. “I have found instances where substances were injected deep into muscles and this has chances of very serious complications such as substances travelling into the bloodstream, and damaged muscular tissues,” he recalls. Should muscles not survive, surgeons will have no choice but to remove muscles resulting in loss of penile length and function.
Immediately after reconstructive surgery, plastic surgeons will need to keep an eye on grafts to ensure that the transferred skin takes. If the grafted skin settles well, the recovery period will continue for a few more weeks in terms of recouping functionality. Dr. Yap says, “Sometimes in cases of damaged function due to penile enlargement treatments, patients will have problems with intercourse before we carry out reconstructive surgery.” Therefore, because they have already lost sexual function beforehand, not everyone will regain the ability to have sex even after reconstructive surgery.”
Though not routinely done, there are proper surgeries that can increase the penis’ height by dividing some of the ligaments that attach the shaft to the pubic bone. Dr Yap says, “There are other recent reports of newly available silicone prosthetics that I have no experience with but are described to safely increase widths after it’s placed under the skin.” Nonetheless, Dr. Yap stresses the importance of consultations with a urologist who has experience dealing with lengthening procedures.
It needs to be said that there’s great discrepancies between how men and women view sex. Dr. Yap points out, “I think that penis sizes are a greater preoccupation among men. Most women don’t think size is very important.” Ironically however, after patients have subjected themselves to penile enlargement treatments, patients suffer complications that cancel out chances of actually performing intercourse anyway.
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