Men who wore a penile extender every day for six months were able to increase the flaccid length of their penis by up to 32% and their erectile function by up to 36%, according to an independent clinical study published in the March issue of BJU International.
Researchers from San Giovanni Battista Hospital at the University of Turin, Italy, are now suggesting that this treatment could provide a viable alternative to surgery, as the results were significant and patient satisfaction with the technique was high.
"Twenty-one highly motivated patients, with an average age of 47, were enrolled and 16 completed the 12-month study" says consultant urologist Dr Paolo Gontero.
"Having undergone psychosexual counselling, to make sure that the treatment would be beneficial, the men were asked to wear the Andro-Penis device for between four and six hours a day for six months. The device comprises a plastic ring, two dynamic rods that produce the traction and a silicon band to hold the penis in place. The men were told to increase the traction from 600g in month one to up to 1200g in month six. Follow ups were performed in months one, three, six and 12."
Key findings included:
• Men who took part in the study wore the device for an average of five hours in the first month, five hours in the third month and four hours in the sixth month.
• The men's average flaccid penile length was 7.15cm (2.82 inches) at baseline and had increased by 32 per cent to 9.45cm (3.72 inches) in month 12.
• The men's average stretched penile length was 9.62cm (3.79 inches) at baseline and had increased by 18 per cent to 11.32 cm (4.45 inches) in month 12.
• No significant increase in penile girth, which averaged 10.4cm (4.09 inches) at baseline, was reported.
• Average erectile function scores improved by up to 36%, from 19.9 out of 30 at baseline to 27.1 out of 30 at 12 months.
• Four patients discontinued the treatment for four different reasons: pain and penile bruising, satisfactory results after three months, lack of efficacy and inability to follow the protocol. Another was lost to follow-up.
• High satisfaction levels were reported in all categories except penile girth. The average score for overall satisfaction was 2.8 on a scale of zero to four, where four represents the optimal result.
• Flaccid penile length scored 2.31 on a scale of zero to three, where three represents significant improvement. Penile length during erection scored 2.37 out of three and sex life 2.3. Penile girth scored 1.1.
"A number of surgical procedures are available that aim to elongate the shaft of the penis or enlarge the penile girth" says Dr Gontero. "However these have a number of disadvantages, including a lack of standardisation, potential risk of complications and high patient dissatisfaction.
"It should also be pointed out that the majority of men who seek help for a small penis fail to meet the clinical criteria for surgery. For example, only one of the men in our study had a flaccid penis length of less than 4cm and American guidelines strongly discourage surgery if men exceed this measurement. Twelve had dysmorphia (excessive dislike of a body part) and the remaining eight had undergone surgery for curvature of the shaft."
The authors believe that the results are significant.
"Our study showed that the penile extender device produces an effective and durable lengthening of the penis, both in the flaccid and stretched state" concludes Dr Gontero.
"If these results are confirmed by further research, we propose that the device should be used as a first-line treatment option for men seeking a penile lengthening procedure."