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What is Preputioplasty?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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Preputioplasty is a minor surgical procedure performed to correct phimosis, a medical condition seen in some uncircumcised men characterized by difficulty retracting the foreskin. This procedure can be performed by a urologist or plastic surgeon, and it is an outpatient procedure that can be done in a hospital or well-equipped surgical clinic. An alternative to preputioplasty is a dorsal slit or a circumcision.

In men with phimosis, the foreskin tightens and narrows, and a ring of tight tissue makes it difficult to retract the foreskin. This is sometimes a congenital issue and may develop during puberty. It can be painful and can also become a hygiene problem. In some cases, the tightening is severe enough to restrict the flow of blood to the head of the penis, which can lead to tissue death and infection.

Treatment of phimosis requires either removing the foreskin with a circumcision procedure, or loosening it so that it can be moved freely. Preputioplasty is one option for loosening the foreskin. In this procedure, an incision is made at the head of the top of the foreskin to loosen the tight tissue and then sutures are placed to secure the opening. While the surgical site heals, the patient may not be able to retract the foreskin due to concerns about tearing, but once the patient has recovered, the foreskin should be freely movable.

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Patients may prefer a preputioplasty if they wish to preserve the foreskin. This procedure is minimally invasive and the primary aesthetic impact is a slight shortening of the foreskin. In a dorsal slit procedure, a longitudinal incision is created to address the phimosis, and this has a more noticeable visual effect. Also known as a limited dorsal slit with transverse closure, a preputioplasty can be the most suitable procedure for patients concerned about aesthetics.

When patients present to a doctor with phimosis, multiple treatment options can be discussed. This area of the anatomy is a sensitive one and some patients are concerned about how they will look after surgery, so most doctors encourage patients to think the procedure over carefully. It is also possible to view preputioplasty photos along with images of other surgical treatment options to get an idea of how the different choices will look after surgery. When preparing for a preputioplasty, patients may also want to discuss aftercare with their surgeons so that they know what to expect.

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