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Does Penis Size Change After Prostate Surgery?

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Updated February 11, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Does Penis Size Change After Prostate Surgery?
My friend says that my penis will be smaller if I have prostate surgery. Is this true?
Answer:

Unfortunately, it is true that the size of your penis can be altered by prostate surgery. After a radical prostatectomy, the surgery that removes the prostate and some of the surrounding tissue, some men report a change in penis size. Some men report a decrease in the length of the penis, while others report changes in girth (thickness), or both. The change is present when the penis is erect or flaccid.

Some prostate surgery patients report no noticeable change in their penis size after surgery, but one study showed that almost one in five men had a 15% or greater decrease in one or more penis measurements after surgery.

If you are having prostate surgery, it is important to know that the type of prostatectomy had no bearing on the change in penis size in this research. In terms of penis size, nerve-sparing surgeries had the same results as other procedures.

While this is an alarming potential side effect of surgery, it is important to remember that prostate surgery is a life-saving surgery for many. The treatment of cancer is the foremost objective, and the potential change in penis size should not outweigh the life-extending benefits of the surgery.

Sources:

A Prospective Study Measuring Penile Length In Men Treated With Radical Prostatectomy For Prostate Cancer. Marc Savoie, Sandy S Kim, Mark S Soloway. The Journal of Urology. April 2003.

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