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Cancer: Prostate Message Board

Loss of penis length

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Old 08-16-2005, 04:30 PM   #1
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james_wv HB User
Loss of penis length ??

Before my RRP surgery I found this article and others referring to a possible loss of penis length following the RRP. I asked my Uro and he said not to worry about it - it won't happen. While I had my catheter in my penis seemed to be pretty much retracted - it looked to be no longer than 2 inches which is a little more than an inch less than normal. After catheter removal this morning it appears to be back to its normal flaccid 3 - 3.5 inch length. Hopefully at some point I'll be able to say the erect length is normal also.....

Anyone experience any loss of length after RRP?
======================================== ===================
New research suggests that men who undergo surgery to remove their prostate as a result of prostate cancer report a decrease in penis size. The knowledge that prostatectomy can decrease penis size is very new and the vast majority of men have likely never received any such warning before surgery.

Researchers at the University of Miami in Florida measured flaccid and stretched penile length, as well as circumference, in 124 men before prostatectomy and three months later. All of these measures of penis size decreased after surgery. Before surgery, the average flaccid penile length of the men included in the study was nine centimetres (3.5 inches) or longer, with an average stretched penile length of at least 13 centimetres (just over 5 inches). After the procedure, however, the median flaccid penile length fell to 8 centimetres, while the same value for stretched length dropped to 12.5 centimetres.

A total of 68 percent of participants showed a decrease in stretched penile length, with 19 percent experiencing a decrease in length of at least 15 percent. Many study participants also reported a marked decrease in sexual functioning after prostatectomy, a known risk of the procedure. While 92 percent of patients prior to surgery reported being able to achieve an erection, only 33 percent retained that ability three months later.

The findings support observations of decreased penile length after prostatectomy and men should be counselled before the surgery that penile shortening may occur. They should be informed that it is a risk, so that they will be prepared for it.
I'm not a doctor, just a guy who used to have a cancerous prostate....but I got over it...

Last edited by james_wv; 08-16-2005 at 04:50 PM.

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Old 08-21-2005, 04:35 AM   #2
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rfj120 HB User
Re: Loss of penis length

There's no doubt my flaccid penis lost considerable length and girth following my RRP. And no, my uro, who was pretty good about providing information, never mentioned it. If I'd had warning I might have done a pre and post measurement to be sure but I lived with the little guy for 47 years before the surgery so I have a pretty good mental picture. There's also some loss in erect length too, maybe .5" to 1". Another blow to the ego Glad to hear things are more positive in your case.

Old 08-22-2005, 06:43 PM   #3
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Red68ranger HB User
Re: Loss of penis length

I noticed a slight decrease in diameter but something of an increase in length (flacid of course) for the first few weeks after my cath was removed. It was as if the cath had reshaped him. It resolved itself and I don't really see any difference now flacid or erect. Other than it takes a lot more work and equipment to get erect. I'm at 10 months now and still seeing some slow but definite improvement.


Old 08-28-2005, 08:37 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2003
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positive4u HB User
Re: Loss of penis length

We've addressed this problem in the past & yes there is a shortening of the penis because part of the urethra is removed with the prostate. Those that claim no change are believed to have enough "extra" urethra to make up for that missing. I have yet to have a urologist admit this.

Old 08-31-2005, 11:25 AM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Palm Springs, CA
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kennethpm HB User
Re: Loss of penis length


the deep dark secret in the world of prostate removal is, in fact, that most, if not all men experience some loss in penis length. This IS true because the urethra is cut above and below the prostate gland, which is removed. So the reconnected urethra IS shorter. While the actual penis tissue is the same, the decreased length of the urethra makes it "pull up" closer to the body cavity wall. I have yet to hear of ONE male urologist that will admit this! Well, can you imagine if in your initial consultation about the surgery your Doctor saying:

"Well, you will have a life-saving operation, the prostate will be removed, we will remove all your cancer, but your penis will be about 1" to 1 1/2" shorter!"

I think most men would run screaming from the consultation room!!!! The surgeon would probably have about 30% fewer patients to operate on!

No kidding!

I am just under 4 months post-op and this seems to be alleviating somewhat- maybe because I keep playing with it, in the hopes that IT WILL get bigger. And, maybe stretch out a little longer. <wink>

Right after the surgery, it was quite a bit shorter -- and unfortunately my testicles always have hung very low. So, I ended up peeing on my balls all the time because of the differential in length/s.

Ah well, but I am alive, and free of the cancer (as best as one can hope to be, based upon the final pathology report).

Such are the indignities of having parts of your urinary/sexual tract organs removed!

Ken in CA (trying to inject some levity into these dire proceedings!)

Old 08-31-2005, 05:27 PM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 66
Re: Loss of penis length

Man oh man ... Kenneth really knows how to express this topic in the shortest (pun intended) length possible. He is quite right ... judging by the "extra" penil tissue I seem to have 'mysteriously' acquired, I have either grown a new foreskin or have lost about an inch in length. I too have had the reversed 'balls' situation and prior to gaining the majority of my bladder control back, it was a wet mess to say the least ... not the kind "wet mess' we would all like to have again mind you Anyway, I suspect the new research is really just catching up with what the uro's have known all along, but most do not tell for whatever reasons. I will ask my Doc the next time I see him ... I am certain he will tell it like it really is ... fortunately for me and his other patients, he always has.

What's an inch anyway??? Just wish the ole nerves would wake up from their 3 month slumber. Anyone had any luck with the vacuum pump & Cialis/Viagra routhine? And yes Ken ... you can make some humor with that one too!!!

Regards to all.
Thom in VA

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