Foreskin restoration is possible. The practice can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome civilizations, and new techniques have emerged in modern times.
Restoration can be done with or without surgery. Although these techniques can give your penis the appearance of having foreskin, they’re usually unable to restore connective tissues cut during circumcision.
Read on to learn about the purported benefits of restoration, how it’s done, and what results you can realistically expect from this procedure.
Restoration techniques may result in:
- increased penile sensation during sex
- less chafing during sex or from clothing
- natural lubrication to make sex more comfortable and preserve penile nerves
Overall research on foreskin restoration is limited. There isn’t any conclusive evidence for or against having a foreskin or its associated anatomy.
Researchers in one 2015 study evaluated the participant-reported benefits of frenulum reconstruction. The frenulum is a part of the penis that’s often removed during circumcision.
After the operation, 31 of the 34 participants reported an increase in sexual satisfaction. However, the participants weren’t asked about their sexual satisfaction before the surgery. This makes it difficult to assess how much impact the procedure had.
It’s also important to note that this study had a small sample size.
Generally speaking, restoration is often seen as an opportunity to reclaim your anatomy and feel more comfortable with your appearance.
Nonsurgical techniques rely on stretching the penile skin to cover the glans. Surgical techniques graft skin from other parts of your body onto the penis to create a foreskin-like sheath.
Talk to your doctor before you attempt any of these foreskin restoration techniques. If performed incorrectly, these methods could cause permanent damage to your penile skin or nerve endings.
Nonsurgical methods are often recommended. They’re inexpensive, low risk, and safer than other techniques.
Each method relies on manual tissue expansion to restore the foreskin. For example, you can stretch the penile skin yourself to give it more length over time. You can also use devices that are worn for several hours a day for several months to expand the penile skin until it can cover the glans.
One popular method is the Foreballs device. It was first introduced in the late 1980s. It’s meant to hang from the penile shaft skin during the day until it stretches enough to cover the glans. Its inventor claims that his skin expanded by nearly an inch. The dual-tension restorer (DTR) device uses tugging to achieve similar results.
These claims are largely anecdotal. They haven’t been backed by clinical studies.
According to a 2011 report on foreskin restoration techniques, nonsurgical stretching may indeed help extend skin. But these techniques don’t restore any of the anatomical features of the foreskin, such as penile nerves and the frenulum.
Surgical foreskin restoration is accomplished by transplanting skin from areas with tissues like those of the penis — such as the scrotum — onto the penile shaft. The resulting expansion of penile skin allows the skin to cover the penis like a foreskin. Unlike nonsurgical techniques, surgical restoration can also restore the frenulum.
The skin used in grafting may not look the same as your regular penis skin. And as with any surgery, there are possible complications associated with infection, blood loss, and anesthesia use.
Regeneration is a newer technique that’s been explored on animal penises with some success.
According to news stories about regeneration, donated foreskins with their original host cells removed could be surgically grafted onto a man’s penis. This may allow the penis tissues, nerves, and blood supply to integrate with the new tissue.
No trials exist to prove that this technique works on human penises. Foreskins can be grown or preserved in laboratory settings, but whether they could be attached with success to the penises of living men is unknown.
If performed improperly, nonsurgical techniques can result in penile or nerve damage from overstretching, abrasion of penile skin, and rough treatment.
Stretching the tissues too far or hard can also be painful.
Surgical techniques also carry the risk of:
- skin loss
- blood loss
- blood clots in major veins
- infections at the surgery site
- liver damage
You should always talk to your doctor before attempting nonsurgical restoration techniques. They can discuss your individual risks and help you choose the best technique for you.
Your doctor will also explain what you can and can’t expect in terms of results.
Consistency is key with nonsurgical techniques. It may take up to two years before you see clear results.
Surgical techniques may require multiple operations and follow-ups with your doctor before results are visible. This can take a few months to a year or longer due to appointments, operations, and healing time.
If you’re interested in restoration, talk to your doctor. They can explain what restoration options are available to you and the risks they may pose.
Your doctor can also answer any questions you may have about what is and isn’t possible with restoration.