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Foreskin Restoration Guide

The purpose of this page is to introduce the basics of foreskin restoration – how it's actually done. Some of the information is duplicated elsewhere on the site, but if you're interested in learning "how-to," then this is the place for you.

LOOKING FOR T-TAPE AND STRAP DIRECTIONS?

One of the most popular sections of this web site is the instructions for making your own restoration device, the "t-tape and strap."

If you are new to restoration, please read this page first.

Otherwise, you may proceed directly to the table of contents for the t-tape and strap information that's available here.

First and Foremost

I cannot emphasize any more strongly that you should never begin a program of non-surgical foreskin restoration without knowing some basic information we've put together on our cautions and warnings page. Most healthy, adult men can proceed without worry, but in some cases, relatively rare health conditions can and should preclude your participation without the express permission and oversight of a competent health care professional (i.e., your doctor).

In fact, it is my strong recommendation that you consult your doctor about restoration whether you feel there is a health condition present or not. This serves two purposes:

Of course, not all doctors know about restoration, and some may not even be especially supportive of you. Find another doctor, or ask your current doctor for a referral to someone better informed.

How It Works

Non-surgical foreskin restoration works on a basic principle, proven in the medical community, known as skin expansion. Essentially, a constant tension is applied to the site where skin expansion is desired, which, when consistently applied, causes the skin to actually "grow" new skin cells, expanding the available skin tissue at the site. Because new skin cells are actually developed, the technique has permanent results.

When this is undertaken on the penile shaft skin, and for a long enough period of time, the result can be the creation of a significant amount of new tissue – enough to simulate the appearance and some of the function of a natural, intact foreskin on males that have been previously circumcised.

While often referred to as stretching, this is actually false. "Stretching" implies that the skin will "snap back" at some point, and with the development of new skin cells in the tissue, this will not occur with foreskin restoration efforts. (This is the subject of some amount of debate, actually. Read my opinion about it in the commentary section of the site.)

The concept of skin expansion has only been fully explored by the medical community for about two decades. In that time, it's been widely used in the separation of conjoined (i.e., Siamese) twins, in breast reconstruction after mastectomy, and other cases where relocation-style skin grafts (skin taken from one area of the body and reattached in another area) are not an option. The success of skin expansion is quite well documented in medical journals at this point, and is not merely some sort of "quack" medicine.

How It's Done

There are many different ways to go about foreskin restoration. Since an excellent and complete resource already exists in the form of the book The Joy of Uncircumcising, I will not attempt to describe every known method here. (To find out more about the book, visit the resource list here.) I highly recommend that you obtain a copy of this book. It contains important background on many issues, and can provide many alternatives, along with encouragement and support with the process.

In the sections that follow, I don't hesitate to offer some personal opinions about some of the techniques or devices where I think it's appropriate. Please understand that these represent my personal experience. Each approach has its supporters and successful users, and you should choose an approach based on your own situation, needs, financial resources, and the availability of materials.

The Joy book describes three basic stages of restoration efforts, referred to in order as tape strap, tape ring, and restoration device. With the system I describe in great detail on this web site – the so-called t-tape and strap method – these terms are really blown out of the water, since the t-tape and strap system (technically a device in the parlance of the Joy book) can, in fact, be used at any stage. And since it doesn't fit into one of the three neat categories, I put it in its own section.

Finally, I discuss some other options and techniques.

Stage 1, Tape Straps

Stage 1 assumes little or no existing coverage of the glans. The object of any activities at this level is to gain enough new skin to continue on to something more advanced. There's a couple of similar techniques:

The problem with tape straps is that they do not accommodate erections, which is only a limited problem during the day (unless you're prone to spontaneous erections), but pretty much rules-out night wear (since most men do have spontaneous nocturnal erections). An erection while wearing a tape strap can be very uncomfortable.

Starting points like this are covered in illustrated detail in the Joy book, should you wish to start with such a technique.

Stage 2, Tape Ring

Stage 2 assumes you had a loose circumcision to begin with and have enough skin to faciliate using these methods, or that you've used a Stage 1 technique long enough to achieve the skin you need.

In my mind, these aren't really a step above Stage 1 enough to warrant their own category. In practice, both tape straps and tape rings are pretty elementary and similar approaches, and the amount of skin needed for Stage 2 just isn't that much more than Stage 1. In any case, it's separated here for consistency with the Joy book.

The problem with the tape rings is the same as with the tape straps. For a start, they can't accommodate an erection without significant discomfort. And in the case of a weighted approach, the tape or the weight can come loose, and allow the whole thing to come falling down your pantleg. Not a pretty picture.

Stage 3, Devices

Until the t-tape and strap method became more available to restorers, devices (which characterize Stage 3 methods) were for people that already have some amount of coverage, either naturally (as many circumcised men do) or that has been achieved through tape straps or rings.

There are a large number of devices:

The T-Tape and Strap Method

Finally, we arrive at my personal favorite method for foreskin restoration, the t-tape and strap, a method not discussed in the Joy book (yet).

Like all the other methods, it uses tape to grab hold of the penis shaft skin. But the tape it uses is a rather unique configuration that must be constructed for each application. The t-tape is so-named, because after it's affixed to the shaft skin, it leaves a "tail" circumferentially around the shaft that in cross-section is shaped like the letter T.

The tail is grabbed hold of by the other component of the system, the strap, specifically, an elastic strap. Since the strap is elastic, you can adjust how much tension is applied by how far you pull the strap. One end is attached to the t-tape, and the other to your pants, underwear, etc. The strap itself has many variations; affix it somehow to your leg, go over the shoulder, around your waist – whatever works best for you and is most comfortable. We describe all of them in great detail, along with instructions for the t-tape, in our t-tape and strap section, including step-by-step illustrated instructions.

So why do I like this method so much? I've answered in more detail elsewhere on the site, but here are the highlights:

Other Techniques

Humans are by nature rather inventive sorts. Where there's a will, there's a way. As a result, there are a number of other techniques and devices, and I can't possibly cover them all here. But there are a few, in particular, I'd like to mention:

Finishing

At some point, you may well reach a time when you consider your restoration efforts done. If you've restored a lot of skin (i.e., you have full coverage of the glans), then you might be interested in some finishing touches to complete the look and function of your new foreskin.

Remember, nothing can put back what your doctor took away when you were circumcised. What finishing touches can do is to help tailor your result to look more natual.

In general, any surgical touch-up procedure is designed to make the new foreskin have a natural taper at the tip, and thus help it stay forward of the glans more naturally. The down side is that removing any skin tissue to help this process means that when you have an erection, there may be a slight hourglass shape to your penis, since part of the shaft skin is removed to form that taper when you're flaccid.

A competent plastic surgeon should be your source of advice here. While I wouldn't let such a surgeon near my penis for surgical restoration (since skin grafting is involved), a minor procedure to help finish the non-surgical efforts is not a bad idea. Just know what you're getting into ahead of time, know and understand the risks, and what the outcome might be like. And work hard to get a referral from your doctor or a local surgeon to a plastic surgeon that has actually performed a restoration touch-up procedure before, otherwise you may be gambling with the foreskin you've worked so hard to restore.

Who Should Consider It

So who, exactly, should consider foreskin restoration? The easy answer is any adult male who has been circumcised. But the answers are actually a little deeper than that.

First off, give some thought to how happy you are (or are not) with the appearance and function of your penis. If you are one of the many millions of men who are perfectly pleased with your circumcised penis as it is, then by all means enjoy ownership of that penis, and use it carefully and in good health!

If, however, you've been reading this material and have begun to identify with the many men who have undertaken restoration, then you're a candidate. Do you have a sense of victimization? Do you dislike the appearance of a circumcised penis? Do you feel your penis isn't as sensitive as it should be? Does it take you a long time to achieve orgasm? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you may wish to consider foreskin restoration.

Once you've decided that foreskin restoration might be for you, next you need to spend some time examining whether or not you have the patience to undertake a project that, very likely, will require daily attention for a year or more. Some men simply cannot stay motivated long enough to do it. Others can. But don't start the process unless you intend to keep with it and are confident that you can, or you could end-up being very disappointed with yourself (and still have that circumcised penis you don't feel quite right about).

Do you need a little motivation? Check any one of the photo diaries referenced in my resources section for personal accounts of some men's efforts on restoration.


Copyright 1996, 1997 Derrick Townsend, All Rights Reserved