Doctors in Mexico have used a silicone implant commonly used to firm the chin in cosmetic surgery patients to give a man's testicles "a more symmetrical look." According to a post at LiveScience.com, the doctors are calling it a safe way to help men who are unsatisfied or insecure regarding the size and shape of their genitalia.
Urologist and lead study author Fernando Ugarte of the National Autonomous University of Mexico told LiveScience, "We are starting to have the same kind of problems that the ladies have with body image. There are many people who are probably not feeling satisfied with their testicular size, and now they have a new option."
That patient in the study was a 45-year-old man born with cryptorchidism on the right side, a syndrome in which the testicle never develops and descends as normal. Physicians removed that testicle and replaced it with "the largest implant on the market."
However, this presented a new problem, as the patient's original left testicle was now dwarfed by the implant. When he arrived in the care of the physicians conducting the study in 2011, the patient was suffering from chronic insecurity and body dysmorphic disorder, an obsession or preoccupation with a specific perceived physical flaw. Body dysmorphia is common in patients suffering from bulimia and anorexia.
Ugarte and his team made an incision in the scrotum and inserted a type of silicone implant commonly used to augment the chin into the layers of tissue around the left testicle. Because the implant does not actually touch the testicle, semen production and fertility are not affected by the procedure.
"After one year, his testicular function is perfect. And he's feeling all right," Ugarte told LiveScience. Since then, two more men have undergone the procedure.
The team's findings were published Monday in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
"It's very well-known that most of the men's magazines have techniques or pills or products" for penis enhancement, Ugarte said. "But now, patients also want to have bigger testicles, not just the penis."
Chin implants are currently the fastest growing cosmetic procedure in the U.S., up 71 percent from 2011. And while the number of men seeking cosmetic procedures has gone up 121 percent since 1997, men still only account for 9 percent of the plastic surgeries performed in the U.S. each year.