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Penuma Implant: Cost, Risks & Effectiveness of Penuma Surgery

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 04/06/2021

Updated 05/06/2024

The Penuma® implant is an FDA-cleared penile implant designed to make a penis look and feel bigger. It’s been garnering attention as a potentially safe way for men to increase their penis size for a few specific reasons.

Unlike most “penis-enhancement” surgical devices on the market, the Penuma implant doesn’t promise the world. And it appears to be backed by some fairly solid scientific principles — at least, at first glance.

While the outlook seems good, you should understand exactly how the Penuma implant is supposed to work and what side effects it might cause before going down this path. Beyond that, it should still only be a last option if you’re unhappy with your penis size — after other treatments have been explored.

Unlike some other products on the market, the Penuma implant isn’t designed to be a penile prosthesis (an inflatable device for treating ED). It’s not actually intended to treat erectile dysfunction or give your penis extra functionality. 

Instead, the cosmetic implant can create extra girth, fix indentation deformities or increase the perceived size of a retractile penis (one that partly sits below the surface of the skin). The goal is to improve a man’s sexual experience and overall confidence in his sex life.

The soft penile implant is made of medical-grade silicone (similar to butt and chin implants). It’s inserted subcutaneously, meaning it’s placed below the skin but above the tissue that allows the penis to function.

The Penuma implant essentially “wraps” around the tissue of your penis, creating extra girth that’s typically visible when flaccid or erect. It’s contoured to suit your specific penis shape, then carefully inserted beneath the skin of your penis during surgery.

By creating a small incision for the implant, there’s little to no visible scarring left behind from surgery.

The Penuma implant has no impact on fertility or your ability to urinate. It’s also discreet — most guys who get the procedure report that it’s undetectable to their partners.

According to Penuma, the implant was designed by a team of “world-renowned” urologists and scientists. Tens of thousands of men have gotten it, but where they had the surgery isn’t totally clear.

Currently, Penuma is only available from American surgeons, and only a few surgeons offer this type of procedure — usually those specializing in urology.

Penuma lists physicians in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Washington D.C., Phoenix, the Bay Area, New York, Miami and Louisiana as specializing in this type of cosmetic surgery.

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The Penuma implant doesn’t actually make your erect penis longer, meaning it’s not a true genital enlargement surgery that’s going to give you any extra inches.

Instead, the Penuma implant essentially “wraps around” the internal tissue of your penis, acting similarly to a penis sleeve but under the skin. Because of its design, it can also make your penis longer when it’s not erect.

In most cosmetic procedures that increase the size of a body part, a surgeon dissects tissue and then places a silicone implant inside this space to create extra size.

However, this process doesn’t work for adding length to a penis. Why not? Spongy penile tissue relies on a network of blood vessels to become engorged in the first place. 

Since the Penuma implant only increases girth, it fits inside your penis without disrupting the complex erectile tissue.

So, is penile implant surgery like Penuma worth getting if you don’t feel totally satisfied with your penis size? Ehhh… It depends.

Penuma implant reviews shared by the manufacturer of Penuma suggest that men who have the surgery typically see an increase in length and girth of one to two inches, both when flaccid and erect. Many also report that the implant increases the length of their flaccid penis.

Unfortunately, there are many things a Penuma implant won’t help with. Penuma isn’t effective in the treatment of premature ejaculation (PE), nervous system injuries or low testosterone levels.

As for its performance-enhancing capabilities, the only way this type of procedure could impact your performance (specifically, your ability to get and maintain an erection) is if you currently have a psychologically induced form of erectile dysfunction. For instance, sexual performance anxiety brought on by feelings of inadequacy.

A larger penis might help with those insecurities. Still, it’s by no means a medically recommended solution for confidence issues unless they’ve been explored in therapy. And it’s definitely not the type of procedure you should consider undergoing lightly.

As mentioned, Penuma implant surgery is a new and emerging procedure. While there are lots of positive messages about it on the internet, research on its efficacy is still very much in the developmental stages.

However, the info we do have is pretty promising.

Penuma Implant Research and Trials

In an interesting single-surgeon study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers found mostly positive results. From 2009 to 2014, more than 500 patients underwent surgery with the Penuma soft silicone penile implant. Of these patients, more than 400 agreed to take part in a study to assess their results and levels of satisfaction.

The researchers found that the study participants displayed an average increase in midshaft circumference (the measurement around the middle of the penis) of 56.7 percent.

What’s more, 72 percent of the men who underwent the surgery had improvements in self-esteem two to six years after the procedure, with 81 percent claiming “high” or “very high” levels of satisfaction.

That said, the study has some limitations — the biggest is that the surgeon who performed the procedures was the inventor of the device. This doesn’t necessarily mean the results aren’t accurate, but it could affect some patients’ assessments of the Penuma implant’s effectiveness.

It’s also worth noting that not all of the patients who underwent the surgery took part in the study afterward. This isn’t abnormal for a scientific study (it’s common for people to drop out of research or choose not to participate). However, it may mean the true patient satisfaction rate from this procedure can’t be accurately measured based on this study’s findings alone. 

Long-term follow-up research also suggests that many men view getting the Penuma procedure as a positive decision.

Choose your chew

According to the Penuma website, the cost of surgery with a Penuma implant can vary based on your location and choice of healthcare provider. However, it’s normal for the procedure to cost $16,000 to $18,000.

The manufacturer’s website notes that the precise cost of surgery can vary, as the implant is customized to match each patient’s anatomy and meet their needs. 

And since it’s considered an elective surgery, it likely won’t be covered by your insurance. Surgery performed solely for cosmetic reasons is rarely cheap, and the Penuma implant appears to be no exception.

Some financial lending companies may offer payment plans for penile enhancement surgery. But this is something you’ll need to discuss with your provider if you’re considering this type of procedure.

To get a Penuma implant, you have to be 21 or older.

You’ll also need to meet certain safety criteria:

  • If you aren’t circumcised, you’ll need to get an adult circumcision prior to having the Penuma implant inserted into your penis.

  • If you’ve previously had a penis-enhancement procedure (for example, fat transfer, filler injections or silicone gel), you might not be able to have the Penuma implant inserted.

Your surgeon will discuss this with you before approving you as a candidate for the procedure.

In order to insert the Penuma implant, your surgeon will create a small surgical incision close to your scrotum. The implant will be inserted and the incision will be closed, leaving a tiny, hidden scar.

The entire procedure is performed under general anesthesia, meaning you’ll be asleep and won’t be able to feel anything.

The Penuma website says most men are able to walk after the surgery. You can usually go home the same day as the procedure, but you’ll have several follow-up sessions with your surgeon to assess your recovery and Penuma results.

It’s normal for your penis to swell following the procedure. Also, you’ll need to abstain from sex and masturbation for several — typically six — weeks until your healthcare provider clears you for it.

All surgical procedures come with some potential risks, and the Penuma implant surgery is no exception. However, complications are generally uncommon, and the risks of most complications can be mitigated with the right pre-op and post-op care.

Potential risks and complications associated with the Penuma implant include:

  • Seroma (buildup of fluid inside the body)

  • Scar tissue development

  • Infection

Many of these, such as scar formation and infection, are common possible risks associated with most surgical procedures — not just penile surgery. 

Research suggests that complications from the Penuma implant are mostly uncommon. Fewer than five percent of participants in studies reported seroma (the most common problem), with a smaller percentage reporting other complications.

In total, less than three percent of men who underwent surgery for the Penuma implant had to have the device removed due to complications or other adverse events.

No participants in studies of the Penuma implant reported any problems with ejaculation, erections or general sexual function.

If you’re looking for a cosmetic procedure, the Penuma implant might be just the thing.  Right now, it’s the only reliable option for penile augmentation without a high risk of complications or changes in penis function.

Other options include: 

  • Penile suspensory ligament surgery. This procedure involves surgically cutting the ligament above the penis. It can make your penis appear larger but also makes it hang at an unusual, downward-facing angle when erect. And it does nothing to extend your penis skin, meaning it could make it look like there is pubic hair growing on your penis shaft.

  • Fat grafting to the penis. This procedure involves removing fat from the abdomen or other locations with liposuction, then transferring the fat to the penis to increase its girth and perceived size. Fat grafting can make your penis appear larger, but like the Penuma implant, it has no effect on erections or penis function. This type of surgery might result in lumps of fat on your penis, giving it an unusual appearance that isn’t natural-looking.

  • Over-the-counter penis growth pills. These supplements, usually marketed as “male-enhancement” pills, claim to increase penis size and boost your self-confidence in bed. There’s no scientific evidence that they work, and several have been identified as containing hidden, potentially harmful ingredients. As such, they’re best avoided. (See also: penis growth hormone.)

  • Jelqing. This pseudo-scientific DIY technique involves stretching your penis at home using your thumb and index finger. The jelqing process is uncomfortable, and most research suggests results aren’t great.

It’s common to want an extra inch or two. But if your penis length is in the normal range and you feel like you need penis enlargement surgery, it could be a sign you have penile dysmorphic disorder (PDD).

Penile dysmorphic disorder is similar to body dysmorphic disorder, only specifically focused on penis length, girth or shape. It’s a real issue for some men that can cause a variety of mental health problems, including an increased risk of certain anxiety disorders.

Experts don’t know exactly what causes PDD. But the porn industry — which tends to feature men and women with larger-than-average appendages — may play at least a small role in distorting people’s idea of what is or isn’t normal.

Average Penis Size

One study published in the journal BJU International found that the average erect penis is 5.2 inches long. A penis can be an inch smaller or larger than this and still fit comfortably within the “normal” range.

Basically, you’re fine just the way you are. And according to the research, you’re probably way more concerned about your penis size than your partner.

In a survey published in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 85 percent of women said they were satisfied with their partner’s penis size. Conversely, only 55 percent of men stated that they were satisfied with their own size.

If you feel like your penis isn’t big enough and think you could have penile dysmorphic disorder, it’s best to talk to a mental health provider about your concerns.

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Currently, the Penuma is the only silicone sleeve implant for improving penis appearance that’s been cleared by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

If you’re considering aesthetic surgery for your penis, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The Penuma primarily increases girth, not length. Because of the way your penis functions, this type of implant can’t provide additional length. However, it’ll give your penis extra girth, making it look and feel larger.

  • This type of surgery isn’t cheap. You can expect to pay $16,000 to $18,000 for the procedure, depending on your location and surgeon. You’ll also need to be circumcised (if you aren’t already), which can cost several thousand dollars.

  • You probably don’t need it. Thanks to the widespread availability of porn, it’s easy to feel worried about your penis. But the average penis isn’t really that big. You likely have more than enough to satisfy your partner with the right approach to sex. And if you’re experiencing penile atrophy (shrinkage), it’s probably temporary.

A lot of the time, dealing with erectile dysfunction issues can go a longer way toward improving sex than a bigger member.

Before opting for surgery, make sure you’ve tried other methods to improve your sexual function and enjoy better, more satisfying sex.

Explore our range of erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation treatments online. Or check out these natural ways to improve erections and sexual function.

7 Sources

  1. About Penuma®. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://penuma.com/male-enhancement/penuma-implant/
  2. Panchatsharam, P.K., Durland, J. & Zito, P.M. (2022, May 8). Physiology, Erection. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513278/
  3. Elist, J.J., et al. (2018). A Single-Surgeon Retrospective and Preliminary Evaluation of the Safety and Effectiveness of the Penuma Silicone Sleeve Implant for Elective Cosmetic Correction of the Flaccid Penis. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 15 (9), 1216-1223. Retrieved from https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(18)31089-0/fulltext
  4. Penuma Penile Enlargement Cost. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://penuma.com/patient-resources/pricing/
  5. FDA Warns Consumers to Avoid Certain Male Enhancement and Weight Loss Products Sold Through Amazon, eBay and Other Retailers Due to Hidden, Potentially Dangerous Drug Ingredients. (2021, December 8). Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-warns-consumers-avoid-certain-male-enhancement-and-weight-loss-products-sold-through-amazon-ebay
  6. Veale, D., et al. (2015, November). Penile Dysmorphic Disorder: Development of a Screening Scale. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 44 (8), 2311-2321. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25731908/
  7. Lever, J., Frederick, D.A., Peplau, L.A. (2006). Does size matter? Men's and women's views on penis size across the lifespan. Psychology of Men & Masculinity. 7 (3), 129-143. Retrieved from https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2006-09081-001
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown is a founding member of Posterity Health where she is Medical Director and leads strategy and design of their Digital Health Platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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