Yes, penile reconstruction can restore a fully functional penis, but the degree of functionality depends on the severity of the original injury or condition and the type of reconstruction surgery performed.
The goals of penile reconstruction surgery are to:
- Create a penis that is cosmetically acceptable
- Allow the patient to urinate in a standing position
- Restore sexual function
The most common type of penile reconstruction surgery is called a phalloplasty. Phalloplasty involves using tissue from another part of the body, such as the forearm, thigh, or abdomen, to create a new penis.
In some cases, it is possible to reconstruct the penis using the remaining tissue. This is typically done for smaller defects.
After penile reconstruction surgery, the patient will need to undergo physical therapy to learn how to use their new penis. It may take several months or even a year or more to fully regain sexual function.
The success rate of penile reconstruction surgery is very high. Most patients are able to achieve a cosmetically acceptable and functional penis. However, it is important to note that there are some risks associated with surgery, such as infection, bleeding, and scarring.
Penile reconstruction surgery, including phalloplasty and metoidioplasty, can create a neophallus (newly constructed penis) that has some functional aspects similar to a natural penis. However, it’s important to understand that the level of functionality achieved may not replicate all aspects of a fully functional penis. Here are some key points to consider:
- Urinary Function: In many cases, penile reconstruction surgeries aim to create a neophallus with the ability to urinate while standing. This can improve urinary function and provide a sense of gender affirmation. The neophallus may have a constructed urethra for this purpose.
- Erectile Function: Some individuals opt for the implantation of penile prosthetic devices (penile implants) during or after phalloplasty to achieve erections. These devices can enable the neophallus to become erect, allowing for penetrative sexual intercourse.
- Sensation: Sensation in the neophallus can vary from person to person. In some cases, surgical techniques aim to preserve sensory nerves from the donor site (e.g., forearm or thigh) to provide tactile sensation in the neophallus. However, the degree of sensation may not be the same as that of a natural penis.
- Orgasm: Penile reconstruction surgeries do not typically impact an individual’s ability to experience sexual pleasure and orgasm. Orgasm is a complex physiological and psychological response that can be achieved through various sexual activities and is not solely dependent on the presence of a natural or reconstructed penis.
- Reproductive Function: It’s important to note that penile reconstruction surgeries do not restore fertility or the ability to father children. These surgeries focus on gender affirmation and improving quality of life rather than reproductive function.