Introduction: Loss of penile length after penile prosthesis implantation is one of the most common complaints. There is no recognized reliable technique to gain length once the device is placed.
Aims: This noncontrolled pilot study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of external penile traction therapy in men with a shortened penis used before inflatable prosthesis implantation.
Methods: Ten men with drug refractory erectile dysfunction and a complaint of a shorter penis as a result of radical prostatectomy in four, prior prosthesis explantation in four, and Peyronie's disease in two were entered into this trial. External penile traction was applied for 2-4 hours daily for 2-4 months prior to prosthesis surgery.
Main outcome measures: Baseline stretched penile length (SPL) was compared with post-traction SPL and postimplant inflated erect length. A non-validated questionnaire assessed patient satisfaction.
Results: All men completed the protocol. Daily average device use was 2-4 hours and for up to 4 months. No man had measured or perceived length loss after inflatable penile prosthesis placement. Seventy percent had measured erect length gain compared with baseline pre-traction SPL up to 1.5 cm. There were no adverse events.
Conclusion: External traction therapy appears to result in a preservation of penile length, as no man had measured or perceived length loss following prosthesis placement, but in fact, a small length gain was noted in 70% of the subjects with no adverse events. The protocol is tedious and requires compliance to be effective. External traction therapy prior to inflatable penile prosthesis placement appears to preserve and possibly result in increased post-prosthesis implant erect length.
© 2011 International Society for Sexual Medicine.