Men’s anxiety around penis size is real, and it’s spawned a multi-million-dollar industry in (mostly) bogus “enhancement products.” For perspective, the global erectile dysfunction drugs market size was valued at over US$4.39B in 2014, and the penile implants market is expected to reach US$640.5M by 2027.
Even if you’re not in the market for a penis implant, you might be curious about Jon (not his real name), a 30-year-old from California, who recently underwent the Penuma procedure. Currently, the Penuma procedure is the only penis enlargement surgery that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have cleared for commercial use in the US. The surgery involves making an incision in the patient’s lower abdomen, about two includes long. Next, an implant, made of medical grade silicone, is inserted under the skin and wrapped around the shaft of the penis. The implant is available in three sizes: L, XL, and XXL, depending upon how hung you want to be.
Down Under, injectable treatments to increase penile girth (which can cost around $5,400 a session), using TGA approved cosmetic fillers) are more popular, but Penis Enlargement Surgery is still offered at some clinics, even though not regulated.
According to a 2018 study, the Penuma device averaged a 56.7% increase in the girth of the penis. Given the average erect penis is about five inches long and four and a half inches in circumference, according to a 1996 Journal of Urology study, the procedure delivers some hard-earned gains. (Editor’s note: Men’s Health does not endorse the Penuma procedure—or any penis-enlargement technique—without first consulting a physician.)
We asked Jon 20 questions about the surgery, the side effects, and what his sex life is like now.
1) What excited you about getting the Penuma procedure?
I saw it as an aesthetic procedure—an opportunity to better myself. I think it’s just provided more utility; prior, I had no complaints. Each girlfriend I had usually orgasmed about 2-5 times per sexual interaction, but for me it’s just about being the best I can be. From base to tip, my penis was about 6.5-7.0 inches erect—so not small, though flaccid, only about 3-3.5.
2) What does your sex life look like now?
Since the surgery, I’ve definitely seen an improvement. My girlfriend last week experienced something called “rolling orgasms” followed by fractal patterns with female ejaculation. I took her to the gynecologist, and she said that what she experienced is normal and only happens to less than 1% of women and to thank your boyfriend, LOL. My girlfriend has told her friends, and a lot of them have been begging her to have a threesome, which is kind of a nice gesture, even though I have no interest.
3) What kind of screening did you go through prior to the procedure?
There was a short interview with a psychologist that was pretty easy, then Dr. Elistdid a pre-inspection appointment. We really just had a conversation about my motivation. He was a really cool guy.
4) Going into the Penuma procedure, how did you feel about the potential side effects of painful erections and some loss of penis sensation during the first few weeks after surgery?
I was a bit concerned about side effects, but Dr. Elist has a very highly reputable name and the FDA clearance to me gives the procedure high confidence.
5) I know you were numbed for the procedure but was there anything you could actually feel?
You’re asleep, so you don’t really feel anything during the procedure. After, there is some pain in the general area, which usually goes away in about three weeks. The real pain is the erections the first couple of weeks. Those were quite intense. I was pretty pain free one-month post-surgery.
6) What would you compare the pain to?
It’s more of a stabbing pressure pain. Your skin has to literally stretch 2-3 inches in girth. On a 1-10, it was about a 7 when you get an erection. It is pretty uncomfortable.
7) Did you have any psychological worries going into the procedure?
Sure, I feel like most people have a general concern when it comes to surgery, especially when it comes to something as important as a penis. But the amount of procedures Dr. Elist has done and the testimonials gave me a confidence in the procedure.
8) Most patients are in and out in 45 minutes, right?
About that, I’d say.
9) Were the results immediate, or did it take some time for the silicone to settle into place?
The results are pretty immediate, but one of the things that took me aback at first was the length shortened initially, but returned later. It was kind of alarming. I measured it and it was barely 6 inches erect, so I was like, “Wasn’t this supposed to make it bigger instead of smaller?” As the implant settled in though, it came back. Dr. Elist advertises a gain or one to two inches in length, which I am still waiting to see.
10) How much of an increase in the girth of the penis did you experience?
For me, personally, about 2 inches.
11) What did aftercare look like?
They give you this tube sock sleeve that goes over your penis to protect it. It keeps the swelling down as there is quite a bit after surgery. You also have a drain tube that is in effect for 3 days post-surgery.
12) The first time you had penetrative sex after the procedure, did you tell your partner in advance?
I did not. It looks very natural so you can’t really tell. My girlfriend now knows, though.
13) Can you describe what sensations felt like during sex after the procedure?
It feels like normal sex—it’s quite enjoyable. The girls seem to enjoy it the most, though. [My girlfriend’s] previous boyfriends were 4-5 inches and not very girthy, so when she saw that, she was astonished at first.
14) And what about the psychological effects? How do you feel about your penis now?
It is nice to have a large-showing penis in a locker room or places of that sort. I wasn’t embarrassed before, per se. It’s just like you’re not going to do sausage windmills with 3.5” soft. I didn’t necessarily need it, it’s just now it’s about 5.5” flaccid, so it shows better.
15) So, masturbating after the procedure: What was that like?
It’s pretty normal. It’s a lot girthier than it was, so it’s harder to get your hand all the way around.
16) How do your erections feel now compared to before?
They’re about the same; just a lot more girthy now.
17) How long is the procedure expected to last?
The procedure takes less than an hour, but the results and recovery depend on the individual. The enhancement itself is permanent.
18) When it was all said and done, how do you feel about the results, physically?
It looks really natural. It’s hard to tell.
19) And, how do you feel psychologically, in terms of self-confidence, self-esteem, etc.?
I don’t see it as that much of a difference. I do walk around naked more.
20) Are you happy with the results?
This article was originally published on menshealth.com.