On this day, June 3, 2016, the Telegraph officially declared ball lifts "a bona fide thing." Like the plague—or a fake trend—the hottest innovation in scrotum rejuvenation since ball ironing is pervasively upon us, the publication reports. The plastic surgery procedure, in which excess skin is removed from the scrotum, perks up low-hanging testicles that have fallen victim to gravity over time.
Dr. Amir Nakhdjevani, one of the few surgeons who perform scrotal lifts in the UK, told the publication that many men seek out this scrotoplasty for vanity-related reasons. "As we age our skin looses [sic] elasticity—something genetics and other factors can accelerate—and as result it's a procedure mostly sought for cosmetic reasons rather than functional reasons."
While some might categorize this surgery as "ridiculous," women—and even teen girls—have been getting cosmetic vaginal rejuvenation procedures for years, and at increasing rates. I certainly think it's about time that men started feeling at least a little anxiety about conforming their bodies to irrational societal standards. But that is probably not the case.
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Nakhdjevani has only performed a whopping total of 22 ball lifts at Kent's Bella Vou plastic surgery clinic, where he works. Nevertheless, he insists that scrotal lifts are on the rise. In the month before the Telegraph article came out, he posted somewhat relentlessly on RealSelf, a resource site and community where plastic surgery candidates can pose questions to doctors and other members, on every inquiry related to scrotal lifts. In each comment, Nakhdjevani said something like, "The popularity of the procedure is growing every year and now men can have something done about it. Many patients undergoing scrotal surgery find comfort during exercise, in clothing and the new more rejuvenated appearance has a very positive impact on their life," before going on to plug his website. Contradicting comments on the site from other doctors indicate that the procedure is not very common.
"Are scrotal lifts common? No," confirms Dr. Barry Eppley, a plastic surgeon with his own private practice. "Are scrotal lifts done? Yes. Are there men who are interested in doing them? Yes. But I wouldn't call them an 'up-and-coming' trend for men. I've seen more men for scrotal lifts in the past two years than in the past 20, but that's simply because of the internet, like many niche procedures."
When I asked men themselves about their relationship with their testicles, none seemed too eager to subject them to plastic surgery. One brave soul who opened up to me about his balls—let's call him Sam*—said his main complaint was that "they used to itch a lot but don't anymore." He doubted that men care about what their balls look like; he doesn't. "I don't know what good balls look like," he said. "There's very little pressure to have pretty balls. There's so much emphasis on the size and shape of the shaft that the balls are, like, a non-issue."
David*, on the other hand, has experienced what it's like to have ball-related insecurities. "One of my balls is bigger and hangs lower," he admitted. "I don't know if it hangs lower because it's heavier and it stretched the spermatic cord, or it's just a naturally longer spermatic cord. Also my sack is hella wrinkly." But he says he wouldn't necessarily opt for corrective surgery. "I feel a certain amount of grief, but it doesn't interfere with my love life or anything like that. No one has ever commented on it, except my internal monologue. I would consider surgery if I had the money and could be certain of the results—so no, not in this world."
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"There are some men that really have an astoundingly low-hanging scrotal sack," Eppley explained when I asked him what would prompt someone to get this procedure done. "For some men who have it, it's actually a real problem. It gets caught between their legs. Just like breasts that sag and cause other uncomfortable symptoms, balls that hang down could get in the way.
"But for other men it's just more about the aesthetics of it," he continued. "I see [more men] for testicular implants than for scrotal lifts."
Eppley adds that ball lifts aren't likely to take off anytime soon, either. "Men in general are very skittish about plastic surgery. I would say that any man who has a scrotal lift is certainly not telling the next man he's had one. Anything they do, they don't want people to know, and Lord knows they don't want people to know when it involves this area," he said. "But like anything, once people become aware of something that exists to treat an aesthetic 'problem,' people will seek it out. If no one is getting [scrotal lifts] now, and ten people do it next year, and 20 people do it the following year, I guess you could call it a trend. A low-volume trend."
*Names have been changed