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Foreskin restoration

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Foreskin restoration or epispasm is the practice of providing a substitute for the foreskin (prepuce) of the penis, which has been removed through circumcision or injury. Some men want their prepuce restored to try to increase penile sensitivity, while some have other reasons such as appearance or a sense of completion.

Surgical methods of foreskin restoration have generally not been satisfactory and often result in a net loss of sensitivity. These involve grafting skin and/or mucous membrane taken from elsewhere on the body onto the distal portion of the penis, and inevitably leave some degree of scarring and nerves take a long time to grow into the new tissue, if they ever do.

A nonsurgical method of foreskin restoration is by means of stretching the skin and mucous membrane covering the shaft of the penis. The stretching stimulates new growth, but is a long and tedious process. The natural foreskin has three principal components, in addition to blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue: skin, which is exposed exteriorly; mucous membrane, which is the surface in contact with the glans penis when the penis is flaccid; and a band of muscle within the tip of the foreskin. Generally, the skin more readily grows in response to stretching than does the mucous membrane, and, of course, the ring of muscle, which normally holds the foreskin closed, cannot be regrown because it has been completely removed in the circumcision. Varying degrees of success have been reported by males engaging in this practice. When successful, the resulting tissue usually provides a looser covering of the glans penis than would the natural prepuce.

The most common way of stretching the foreskin is to use tape to provide adhesion to the skin, and the tape can then be attached to elastic devices or weights, or simply to itself to force the skin over the head of the penis, which provides a moderate amount of stretching in and of itself.

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