Foreskin restoration : A guide to Circumcision

This is undertaken by men who wish to restore their penis to its pre-circumcised state. It is possible to do but it is important to remember that it will not fully restore the level of sensitivity before circumcision.

What it can achieve

What it can do is to soften the layer of skin of the glans – called the epithelium and so increase its level of sensitivity. It also results in a natural looking penis.

What it can’t do

But what it cannot do is to restore the blood vessels and highly sensitive nerve endings which are contained within the foreskin as these will have been removed during the circumcision.

It works by stretching the skin of the penis shaft over the glans to create the appearance of a foreskin.

This is often chosen by men who are unhappy with the results of their circumcision, who have phimosis or have sustained an injury in that area.

This can be done either surgically or non-surgically.

Non-surgical methods

This involves stretching the penis on a regular basis so that new skin cells are created. These cause new skin to be grown which then increases the length of the shaft skin. This extra skin covers the glans and mimics the appearance of a foreskin.

There are various devices available to help with this stretching which include:

  • Elastic straps
  • Weights
  • ‘T-tape’
  • Foreskin restoration device (this device fits over the penis and applies constant tension to the skin)

These need to be used with care as there is a fine line between constant tension and damaged tissues from over-use. Too much pressure will cause pain or injury so adjust the level of tension so that it is comfortable for you.

Another option is a ‘prosthetic foreskin’: this is an artificial foreskin made from latex which fits over the glans.

Surgical methods

There are surgical restoration methods but these are considered unsatisfactory and not without their risks.

Its advantage is that it is quick but it is expensive and doesn’t always work.

One surgical procedure involves making an incision at the base of the penis before removing the shaft skin. This skin is peeled back so that it is connected to the glans only.

This skin is then stretched forward so that it resembles a quasi-foreskin. If this ‘new foreskin’ needs tightening then a small graft is removed from it and the open area closed with stitches.

Skin is then taken from the scrotum and grafted onto the penis shaft to replace the missing skin from the shaft.

This is usually performed in three stages.

Many patients require several of these procedures and the results are not always reliable. The risks include tissue damage and extensive scarring.

Touch up procedures

These are what might be termed the ‘finishing touch’as they aim to reproduce a natural looking foreskin.

These include:

  • The removal of scar tissue
  • Restoration of a severed frenulum
  • Tightening the new foreskin by means of ‘drawstring’ stitches around the tip.

These minor procedures can be performed under a local anaesthetic.

There are pros and cons to foreskin restoration so consider this option very carefully.


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