Bigger Might Be Better But Are Penis Enlargement Surgeries Worth the Risk?

It’s a question of how much you’re willing to risk for a mere few inches. In some cases, it could be your life.

By Jessie Schiewe


Want a bigger, longer, fatter penis? Well, are you willing to die for one?

Gone are the days of popping Viagra or using enlargement pumps a la Austin Powers to get a temporarily enlarged Johnson. From implants to fat injections, all kinds of people have had penis enlargement operations. Billionaires and taxi drivers have done it. So have millennials and senior citizens. Even a 13-year-old got one.

The penis enlargement business is better than ever. But that doesn’t mean it’s foolproof. During surgeries, patients have suffered heart attacks and developed fat embolisms. One man’s botched operation left him with a 1-inch penis and the inability to have sex or feel sensation when he urinates. So if you want a bigger peen, you better ask yourself: Are penis enlargement surgeries worth the risk?

The allure of Big Dick Energy

It’s not hard to see why penoplasty (yes, penoplasty) is in such high demand. While the average length of an erect penis is 5.2 inches, many pine for a few more notches on the ruler. Some want the aesthetics of a bigger bulge, while others believe they’ll be able to give their partners more pleasure by providing deeper, more intense penetration.

There’s a whole ideology about the powers of a plus-size peen. It’s seen as representing confidence and power, and in some cases, even intelligence. There’s even a new name for it: Big Dick Energy (BDE). The term began swirling around social media in 2018 after the death of Anthony Bourdain. Twitter users mourned the chef’s passing and eulogized the BDE he’d possessed. A few months later, when Ariana Grande was briefly engaged to Pete Davidson, people used the term again in an attempt to explain the pair’s relationship. He “exudes big dick energy,” wrote one Grande fan on Twitter. “The only thing wrong with him is that he’s a Scorpio.”

Anyone can have BDE, regardless of gender. It’s more about behavior and attitude than the size of genitalia. But of course that helps, too, and sometimes they’re one and the same: In a since-deleted and possibly photoshopped tweet by Grande, she claimed Davidson had a 10-inch penis.

How big would you make your peen?

How big would you make your peen?

How to get a big(ger) dick

If you’re unhappy with the size of your schlong, there are options. For a more temporary fix that lasts between eight to 12 months, consider hyaluronic acid or collagen penile injections. The procedure is quick and though it can set you back a few thousand dollars, it’s a lot less expensive than other solutions because it doesn’t require anesthesia or a hospital stay. It’s particularly popular in India, where the medical tourism business has been steadily growing due to cheaper rates and fewer regulations.

There’s also plastic surgery treatments that make increases in girth and length more long-lasting. For the latter, surgeons make an incision above the base of the penis allowing them to release the connective tissue bonding it to the pubic bone, known as the penile suspensory ligament. Doing this drops the penis to a lower position and brings it forward, increasing the length externally by one to two inches.

To create a thicker dick, surgeons typically resort to liposuction. Fat tissues from the lower abdomen or thighs are collected and injected into the shaft, increasing the circumference by another one to two inches. It’s a simpler procedure than cutting the suspensory ligament, and it offers a few benefits. There are no incision scars and the recovery time is shorter.

For both augmentation operations, doctors advise implementing a “clean underwear every day” policy for at least 14 days following the procedure. Sex is also a no-no for a few weeks, as are erections. Get a boner and you might pop a pubic stitch.

Penile implants, similar to breast implants, involve surgery, substantial health risks, and serious recovery time. Most procedures in the U.S. involve an implant called Penuma. Crescent-shaped and made of medical-grade silicone, it’s one of, if not the only, penile implant cleared for commercial use and cosmetic enhancement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. James Elist, a Beverly Hills urologist, invented it in 2004 and reported having more than 1,000 patients in the first decade of its existence.

A Penuma implant costs around $15,000 and, like most penile augmentation procedures, isn’t covered by insurance. It’ll make your schlong both longer and wider, and comes in three sizes: large, extra-large, and extra-extra-large. When asked why he didn’t offer implants in a broader range of sizes, Dr. Elist said “nobody wants a small.”

The risks of penis enlargement surgery

Adding a few inches below the belt can come at a price — one you often don’t discover until it’s too late. If you’re lucky, the worst that happens is wasting some money. This can occur with fat injections as your body can re-absorb the lipids, resulting in a return to your original size. Even with a suspensory ligament surgery — the most common penis enlargement procedure in the U.K. — the results can be disappointing. By cutting the tissue, the erect penis no longer points as high and may fall at a different angle. “It can make sex quite uncomfortable. You've got to do a lot more maneuvering with your partner,” Kevan Wylie, a professor of sexual medicine in England, said.

These post-penis enlargement surgery risks pale in comparison to the biggest potential downside: Death.


The first-known person to die from a penis enlargement surgery was an asthmatic 30-year-old man from Sweden. In 2017, he opted for both the suspensory ligament incision and fat injections. The tissue-cutting portion of his surgery went swimmingly, but as the doctors began injecting his dick with the solution, the Swede’s heart began racing. His oxygen levels fell, his blood pressure dropped, and he suffered a heart attack, ultimately dying of a fat embolism.

This month saw the demise of another penis enlargement patient: a billionaire diamond trader named Ehud Arye Laniado. The 65-year-old reportedly owned the most expensive penthouse in Monaco and regularly threw parties attended by models and celebrities at his Bel Air mansion. A friend of his told Daily Mail he was “always focused on his appearance and how others perceived him.”  

Laniado traveled to Paris in early March to have the operation done in an unidentified private clinic on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees. (It’s unclear which procedure he opted for.) After surgeons injected a substance into his penis, Laniado suffered a heart attack and died.

Penoplasty can be awesome when it’s successful

Perilous though they may be, these surgeries are growing in popularity, with satisfied customers lauding the ways in which they’ve improved their lives. According to testimonies, buying a bigger Johnson can motivate you to quit a dead end job, achieve bucket list goals, venture into new fashion territory, and, of course, find love. Michael, a 65-year-old British man who purchased the procedure as a birthday gift for himself, said he often wonders whether his entire life would have been different had he gone under the knife sooner.

“I think my relationships would have been better if I had done it years ago because it would have given me more confidence and I would be happier and more outgoing,” he told BBC Three in a documentary about “the booming business” of penis enlargement surgery. “I will probably travel more and go abroad more because I will feel more comfortable in myself.”

Those who’ve done it — and lived to tell the tale — are vocal about encouraging others to take the plunge.

“If you can have it done, get it done,” said a 25-year-old who surgically lengthened his penis by 1.3 inches. “I asked for a monster and they have given me a monster. I can't get my hand around it. I send my friends WhatsApp messages of it. It’s like a new car: I want to show it off.”

If you think about it, though, that’s a bad analogy. Thousands of drivers will see your new car on the road, but — unless you’re Dan Bilzerian — only a dozen or so partners will see your dick. Except for cases of those with truly tiny wieners, tacking on an inch or two down there is more symbolic and psychological than anything.

Considering that the ancient Greeks and Romans valued small peens, who knows, maybe big knobs are just a trend. Sure, “Average Dick Energy" might not have the same ring to it, but at least you won’t risk croaking and sharing your secret with the entire world. Because in the end, there truly is nothing more mortifying than dying for a bigger dick.


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