Touch-Up Surgery

One of my goals when I started the process of foreskin restoration was to be as polar opposite of cut as I could possibly be.  If I could grow a foreskin that hung down to my knees, I'd totally do it.  Unfortunately, restoration progress is extremely slow.

I reached a point where I had plenty of skin to cover the glans if I gently pulled it forward, but it wouldn't stay covered.  Skin stretching can re-grow skin, but it can't really re-create the taper at the end like a real foreskin has.  Some guys seem to sort of re-create the taper by using cone-based restoration devices.  But I wonder how well that holds over time.  My experience with cones was that my skin looked puckered and tapered for the first few minutes after I took the cone off.
  But then over time, the skin would relax, widen at the end, and go back to not covering the head as much.  I think photos of nice puckered restoration results online can often be very misleading, since many are taken during that time period shortly after the cone was removed.  My coverage also varied drastically between when I was sitting and when I was standing.  I wanted to be able to restore for a period of time then be done with it, without the need for a retainer later.

To be clear, I think my goals for foreskin restoration have probably been somewhat different than the goals of most guys who restore. One of the big things that has always really bothered me about being cut was feeling like I was forced to represent something that I think is extremely unethical.  I hated looking cut.  There are so many examples around the world of abuse and really fucked up treatment of boys due to normalizing the practice.  There are way too many examples of boys with partial or complete amputation of their penis due to surgical complications from circumcision.  In many cultures, boys are pressured or forced into having circumcisions when they are preteens or even in their teens.  There are men all over the world who resent being cut without their permission as an infant.  There are huge communities of men who resent it enough to put up with the hassle, cost, frustration, and discomfort that comes with foreskin restoration.  Everyone is different, but for me appearing to be as close to intact as possible when flaccid was a big deal.  I hate feeling like I'm cut, because I hate what it represents.  It makes me feel branded, in a very personal way, by something controlling, prudish, and harmful.

To pursue the goal of feeling as close to uncut as possible, I researched surgical touch-up options.  There unfortunately isn't much information available, since it probably isn't something that has been done many times.  My primary source of information was this webpage, hosted by the maker of the DTR and documenting the experience of a restorer named "AKA".  He had a surgery that he calls a "V-plasty", which took a V-shaped wedge of skin (actually a diamond shape of skin before folding it over, I think) from the new foreskin.  That surgery looked exactly like what I wanted, and I am extremely grateful to both "AKA" and "Chuck T" for documenting it.

When I thought I had plenty of skin to get the surgery, I booked an appointment at the urology clinic at a local hospital here in Boise.  I explained the process of foreskin restoration to the urologist, and my feelings about being cut.  He was very critical of the idea of a v-plasty touch up surgery.  Without even asking how wide of a wedge I wanted removed he told me that the surgery could create scarring that would lead to phimosis, which would have to be corrected with re-circumcision.  After only a couple minutes discussing the idea with him, it was very clear that he wasn't willing to give it any serious consideration, since it wasn't a by-the-book procedure that he would already have experience with.

I booked another appointment at the other major Urology clinic in town, with a different doctor.  I blew me away how polar opposite the experience was.  The Urologist I met with listened to my description of how I had re-grown skin, why I didn't like being cut, and what kind of surgery I wanted.  He then basically said, "Looks pretty simple to me" and asked when I'd like to have it done.  He was so unconcerned with it that I was actually nervous that I shouldn't have him do it either, especially compared with the reaction from the previous doctor.  But most of the things I had read about him were positive, and it seemed like a simple idea to me too.  So I made an appointment for surgery on November 9, 2016.  It was a Wednesday, so I had three days off work plus the weekend to recover.  That was about right.

A natural foreskin is very stretchy.  It can stay covered and taper down to a small diameter when soft, but widen many times larger to retract when hard.  A circumcised man can grow shaft skin to cover the head like the foreskin used to do, but it isn't the nice stretchy skin that the foreskin was made of.  I came to the conclusion that removing a wide enough wedge to make it look and act the way I wanted it to while soft would have to also prevent it from retracting while hard.  So I made sure that I had grown enough skin that it could cover the head when I'm erect without lots of tension.  Before I went in for surgery, I used my green pen to mark where I wanted the wedge to come from, and how much I thought I wanted removed.  It wound up being a diamond shape that, at the widest point, was removing almost half the circumference of the new foreskin I had grown.

It was probably a little bit risky to take as much width as I did.  Taking too much could be dangerous, because if something goes wrong during the healing process (like an infection or re-opening of the wound), there are limited options for accessing the inside part to fix it.  And if the wound had to be re-closed, they may have to shave off a bit more, which was almost no longer an option because of how much was taken originally.  For me, the opening was reduced enough that I couldn't retract my skin at all for about a month after surgery, otherwise it would've put too much tension on the sutures.  I had to rinse inside it using a syringe with a rubber tip.

For a couple months after surgery, the skin wouldn't retract when hard.  It was difficult but possible to retract it when completely flaccid.  Over time, it has continued healing and maybe stretched/widened a bit.  Now, it is uncomfortable but possible to retract when hard, and very easy to retract when soft.

I don't regret the size of wedge that I chose to take out at all.  If anything I would like the opening to be smaller.  Like I said before, my main goal is to be as opposite of circumcised as possible.  It would be ideal to have a real foreskin with a stretchy opening, but the lack of easy mobility is a price I'm personally willing to pay to have the highly tapered result.

Personally, I am very happy with the results.  But I would only recommend this procedure to restoring men who are willing to deal with a bit of discomfort when the skin is pulled back while hard, and are ok with the possibility of not being able to retract well at all.  If your desired goal is to re-grow skin to protect the glans, increase skin mobility, and improve sex, then you can get all those benefits without any touch-up surgery.  Also, the surgery cost about $2,500, and is probably not something insurance is going to foot the bill for (mine didn't).  If you're worried about scarring you probably shouldn't opt for this procedure, since I think it would be very difficult to cope with unexpected results, after already resenting being cut once.  I personally see the scar more as something that I chose and as something that represents my ability to finally own my own body.


Photos

1 day after surgery:






2 days after surgery:





4 days after surgery:



7 days after surgery:




14 days after surgery:




17 days after surgery:




25 days after surgery:





7 weeks after surgery:




 

9 weeks after surgery:
I found out today that the skin actually can pull back all the way.  It felt pretty tight, and certainly won't go back and forth.  It just stays firmly behind the head.  I was nervous about it, but no injury.  I think as the wound heals, it is still getting a little looser and more pliable.


 


7 months after surgery:
Thankfully the scaring is continuing to fade.  I was worried for the first couple months, because the foreskin opening was pretty tight and difficult to retract.  But it continued to loosen for a few months, and now can be retracted very easily.  It does stay in place when I don't purposefully retract it.  I'd actually like it to be tighter now that I've seen the final results as-is.  My plan is to continue gradual lengthwise skin growth by stretching with my TLC Tugger.  Some day, when I have a lot more skin, I'll probably have the opening tightened further.






See the progress pictures page for more pictures in the years after the surgery