Penuma is a type of penis enlargment surgery that involves inserting a piece of silicon under the penis to make it longer and wider. It does not have approval as a treatment for erectile dysfunction and is unlikely to be covered by insurance. It can be expensive.

Penuma is the only penis enlargement surgery cleared for commercial use under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 510(k) regulation. The device is FDA-cleared for cosmetic enhancement.

The procedure has an out-of-pocket cost of about $15,000 with an upfront $1,000 deposit.

Penuma is currently not covered by insurance, and not cleared to treat erectile dysfunction.

James Elist, MD, FACS, FICS, of Beverly Hills, California, founded the procedure. He’s currently one of the only two certified practitioners.

Read on to learn more about how the Penuma procedure works, the risks, and whether it’s proven to successfully enlarge a penis.

The Penuma is a crescent-shaped piece of medical-grade silicone inserted under your penis skin to make your penis longer and wider. It’s provided in three sizes: large, extra-large, and extra-extra-large.

The tissues that give your penis its shape are composed largely of two types:

  • Corpus cavernosa: two cylindrical pieces of tissue that run parallel to each other along the top of your penis
  • Corpus spongiosum: one cylindrical piece of tissue that runs along the bottom of your penis and surrounds your urethra, where urine comes out

Your Penuma device will be designed to fit your specific penis shape. It’s inserted into your shaft over the corpus cavernosa, like a sheath.

This is done through an incision in your groin area just above the base of your penis. The device stretches the penis skin and tissues to make your penis look and feel larger.

According to Dr. Elist’s website, people who have had the Penuma procedure report increases in length and girth (measurement around their penis) of about 1.5 to 2.5 inches, while flaccid and erect.

The average male penis is about 3.6 inches long (3.7 inches in girth) when flaccid, and 5.2 inches long (4.6 inches in girth) when erect.

The Penuma could enlarge the average penis up to a length of 6.1 inches when flaccid, and 7.7 inches when erect.

Things to consider

Here are some key facts about the Penuma surgery:

  • If you aren’t already circumcised, you’ll need to do this before the procedure.
  • You can go home the same day as the procedure.
  • You’ll need to arrange a ride to and from the procedure.
  • The procedure generally takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
  • Your surgeon will use general anesthesia to keep you asleep during the procedure.
  • You’ll return for a follow-up visit two to three days later.
  • Your penis will be swollen for a few weeks after the surgery.
  • You’ll need to abstain from masturbation and sexual activity for about six weeks.

As with any surgery, risks are associated with the use of anesthesia.

Common side effects of anesthesia include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • exhaustion
  • hoarse voice
  • confusion

Anesthesia can also increase your risk of:

The Penuma website reports that you may experience pain with erection, and some loss of penis sensation, during the first few weeks. These are usually temporary.

If these side effects last for more than a few days, see your doctor. In some cases, removing and reinserting the Penuma can alleviate these side effects.

According to an evaluation of men who underwent this type of surgery, possible complications include:

Also, after surgery your penis may look significantly bulkier or not shaped to your liking.

Make sure you discuss realistic expectations for your penis appearance with your surgeon before you have the procedure.

According to the Penuma website, the success rate of this procedure is high. Most side effects or complications are purportedly due to people not following surgical aftercare instructions.

The Journal of Sexual Medicine reported on a surgical study evaluation of 400 men who underwent the Penuma procedure. The study found that 81 percent rated their satisfaction with their results at least “high” or “very high.”

A small number of subjects experienced complications including seroma, scarring, and infection. And, 3 percent needed to have the devices removed due to problems following the procedure.

The Penuma procedure is expensive, yet some may find it worthwhile.

The makers of Penuma report a high rate of customer satisfaction with the implants and increased levels of self-confidence. For some, it can also result in unwanted, sometimes permanent side effects.

If you’re concerned about the length and girth of your penis, talk with your doctor. They may be able to recommend nonsurgical options that can help you achieve your desired result.