What is a Dorsal Slit?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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A dorsal slit refers to a surgical incision made on the foreskin of the penis. It is also sometimes referred to as a superincision. This type of incision can be utilized in several types of procedures. The most common surgical procedures requiring the use of this incision are circumcision and the treatment of a condition known as adult phimosis.

A dorsal slit is performed by beginning the incision at the tip of the foreskin. From this area, the incision continues to the corona, which is located behind the neck of the penis. This incision serves to expose the glans without any tissue needing to be removed. The glans represent the sensitive area on the head of the penis. This area has the same function in a male that the clitoris has in a female.

This method of circumcision is no longer the medical standard in many parts of the world. It has largely been replaced by less invasive methods, especially in countries such as the United States. The dorsal slit method only provided a partial circumcision, whereas more complete methods of circumcision have become more favored. With that said, this method has a history that goes back at least as far as ancient Egypt.


It is much more common in modern times to see the dorsal slit method of incision used to treat the condition of adult phimosis, although more modern procedures are rapidly replacing this method of treatment as well. Phimosis is medical condition in which the foreskin does not completely retract from the head of the penis. This can be a condition present from birth, or it can develop at any time through adulthood.

Paraphimosis is another condition in which the dorsal slit method is sometimes used. With this condition, the foreskin is able to retract. The problem in paraphimosis is that the skin can not be returned to the position it was in before being retracted. Manual methods of moving the retracted skin back to its former position are attempted before resorting to the dorsal slit procedure.


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Post 5

@letshearit: Regarding your inquiry on which country still practices the dorsal slit method, it is the Philippines, wherein close to 96 percent of the entire male Filipino population have the Dorsal Slit method done. It's the most popular and the most preferred method.

The remaining 4 percent of Filipinos are done freehand, with a clamp or a resection sleeve.

Strictly basing it on medical textbooks, a dorsal slit is not a medical circumcision, but rather a slit on the dorsal surface of the foreskin, which retains the entire foreskin. This leaves a hanging, droopy skin on the underside of the glans during the non-erect stage.

I'm a Filipino, but I was done Freehand circumcision resulting in a high and tight result with the entire frenulum removed. I hope I was able to enlighten you.

Post 2

@letshearit - If you are researching which countries still use the dorsal slit as the primary method of circumcision in males you should look into the Maasai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania. Members of their tribe living in more remote areas still use the dorsal slit method, as they believe it creates positive circumcision results for the male.

As far as circumcision in general goes, I think looking at which diseases and conditions are helped with circumcision would be a good idea for your project.

Did you know there was a study that showed that having a circumcision could make you less likely to get AIDS? While you still need to practice safe sex, the lack of foreskin means that that there is no lining for the infection to hide in. This goes for other sexually transmitted diseases as well.

Post 1

Does anyone know which countries still use the dorsal slit as the primary method of male circumcision?

I am currently doing a project on the history of circumcision for my health class and am looking to delve a bit into the different methods of circumcision as well as surrounding issues. Beyond the actual medical process behind a circumcision I think talking about the reasons we still encourage males to undergo this surgery is fascinating.

I have always found circumcision one of the more interesting things that have been accepted by our culture for its medical benefits, despite its religious origins. It has been proven to help with numerous medical conditions, and while some believe it is really just genital mutilation, I think it serves to give males many health benefits.

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