Humans, by nature, are vain creatures. And nothing makes us more vain than our sexual image. For men, the focus is definitely on our privates. With the penis serving as a symbol of power, guys feel a sense of inferiority if things don’t measure up, down there. But our sexual organs were made to shrink and sag over time, our scrotums in particular. And with men under more pressure these days to maintain their sex appeal, some are resorting to something more extreme than basic manscaping practices.
There’s a new cosmetic surgery known as a scrotal lift that’s catching fire, encouraging dudes to beautify their testicles by removing unnecessary sinkage, wrinkles, and all other abnormalities. The procedure was originally conceived to treat cancer patients or those with severe injuries inflicted in the crotch region – just think, this was actually considered taboo in the same way that hair transplants were back in the days. Now it’s become accepted, viewed as the equivalent of a nose job for your gonads.
As body consciousness continues to creep into male culture, AskMen decided to tap into this growing grooming trend and see what all the hype is about. We spoke with Roger Bigwood, Clinic Director at the Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic, a medical centre responsible for pioneering the procedure, to break down the rationale behind scrotal lifts: How the operation isn’t only designed to keep your nuts from resembling a Shar Pei, but also the benefits and emotional impact behind it. New balls please, etc etc.
So What Exactly Is It?
In the words of Bigwood: “Scrotal uplift, also known as ‘scrotoplasty,’ scrotal reduction or scrotum tightening, is a cosmetic surgical procedure to tighten, lift and reduce the scrotum’s excess skin.” It takes about an hour to perform, enhancing the appearance and discomfort associated with lax scrotal skin, “which occurs as a result of ageing, trauma, or genetics.” Oh, the true perils of manhood.
Going Under The Knife
No visuals necessary. Seriously. Nonetheless, if you must know how the operation plays out, the surgeon starts by slicing away at excess skin, rejoining the muscle at the scrotum seam to hide any potential scarring. Absorbable sutures (stitches) are then applied for relief and don’t require removal. Seeing how scrotal lifts are a “walk-in, walk-out” local anaesthetic procedure, the only painful part of the surgery might actually be the cost of it. Bigwood measures the average amount at £2800 including aftercare – nothing you shouldn’t already have saved in the piggybank.
Granted the thrill of going streaking down the block sounds enticing after getting reconstructive surgery on your nards, the healing process delays the fantasy. Surgeons say swelling is to be expected for a few days, so men should refrain from doing any strenuous activities for up to 6 weeks. Translation: No exercise. Definition: No sex! Such predicaments can definitely impact one’s dating life, especially if you’re intent on going anywhere past what our American cousins call second base. Try sustaining blue balls with a hypersensitive sack. Brutal.
The Gains Of Scrotoplasty
Vanity. Such an intimate procedure is purely for glamorous needs. Women get boob jobs and can’t resist the temptation of flaunting the results to the world. And mankind couldn’t be more thankful – though, secretly, men seek the same social satisfaction when undergoing cosmetic surgery. We all have a motive for considering scrotal surgery. Is the extra sag killing your sex life or is it something that’s become invasive to your active lifestyle?
Getting the nip-tuck treatment down below will draw shocking reactions, though mainly positive, considering it’s designed to restore the scrotum to its natural appearance. It might even inspire penis pride. Still, scrotal lifts are more than just a sexual ego booster. According to Bigwood, “the benefits to the client largely depend on whether they’re looking for an aesthetic or functional improvement.” These include the following:
- Reduced irritation and discomfort
- Improved self-esteem
- Long lasting results
Functionally, scrotal lifts improve physical activities such as cycling, limiting soreness that results from resting your jewels on the bike seat during long stretches. Dressing up even has its advantages, with Bigwood suggesting the procedure prevents lax scrotal skin from getting caught in clothing – or, as he likes to call it, that “There’s Something About Mary moment.” Probably the most logical question any guy can ask regarding scrotal lifts is whether it affects sperm reproduction. The answer is no. Sigh!
Just How Popular Has It Become?
In 2015, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery revealed cosmetic surgery amongst men increased by 43 percent that year, with the number of surgeries performed seeing a 273 percent increase since 1997. That should tell you more guys are opting for scrotal lifts. In fact, Bigwood compares its rise in prevalence amongst men to that of labial reduction for women.
George Clooney once joked with Esquire about “ball ironing” being the hottest thing in Hollywood. Didn’t take long until a Santa Monica spa found inspiration from the rib and developed a treatment called the Male Laser Lift designed to smoothen out wrinkles and correct pigmentation. Guess it’s only right we credit the actor who once wore a nippled Batman suit for planting the seed for what’s become scrotoplasty.
So just how many guys are jumping at the chance to rejuvenate their bollocks? Bigwood told us that Bella Vou receives around 20 referrals for scrotal reduction surgery each month. Not exactly trending numbers, yet still an intriguing amount to draw global publicity. It’s obviously targeting a niche crowd of ball-conscious males, with Bigwood adding that the clinic “frequently sees younger men in their late 20s or 30s,” as the procedure grows in demand every year. But it’s not just young adults. Gerard Lambe, spokesperson for the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, told the MailOnline that the procedure is being performed on men mostly over 50 as well.
Scrotal lifts might transform you into a sex symbol. However, Katherine L. Lee, expert psychotherapist in identity formation and emotional health for young adults, believes cosmetic surgery isn’t a prime solution for levelling a man’s psyche: “In such cases, self-esteem goes beyond any surgical procedure he can get to make himself look better.”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sure. Whatever. For now, let’s kill the romantic rhetoric and be completely frank, no pun intended – the scrotum is not exactly the sexiest body part to view. And if your lady says otherwise, thank her for being sensitive towards your insecurities.
Ageing alone can trigger profound psychological effects. Just imagine the emotional strain most men put themselves through when coping with the physical flaws of a droopy, ridged sack. A scrotal lift can balance a man’s emotional state, while also proving to be more than a beauty enhancer, as told by Bigwood: “For some men it is done for purely cosmetic reason whereas others are motivated by health and wellbeing concerns.”
The purpose of a scrotal lift is to keep your balls looking and feeling good for as long as possible. Yet beauty doesn’t last forever. “Some men may feel disappointed when a procedure like a scrotal lift doesn’t seem to work long-term,” says Lee. “Worries about how he appears or performs in the bedroom might continue to creep back in, in an intrusive way.” Lee recommends therapy as an alternative to resolving self-esteem issues more effectively.
Despite growing in popularity, scrotal lifts shouldn’t be championed as “the new” grooming movement based on the fact the market for men who are skittish about getting cosmetic surgery is much larger than those willing to take a leap of faith. If anything, it’s a low-volume trend with the potential of expansion based on activations and exposure. Then again, if history has shown us anything, all it takes is an A-lister such as Clooney to poke fun of scrotoplasty, or having Hollywood hunksters like Channing Tatum and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson spreading themselves across the operating table before it transcends into the next culturally bizarre grooming phenomenon… if it hasn’t already.