What is this procedure?
Occasionally, a non-retractile foreskin (inability to pull the foreskin over the ridge of the glans) is caused by a tight frenulum. This can be treated relatively easily with a small cut in the frenulum, and re-stitching so the frenulum is longer.
How is frenuloplasty perfomed?
The operation is performed under general anaesthetic, although it can occasionally be done under local anaesthetic only. A horizontal incision is made in the frenulum, and this is re-stitched in an up-and-down manner. Dissolvable stitches are used. Even if you have a general anaesthetic, you will be given long lasting local anaesthetic in the area of the operation while you are asleep, so that you should wake up with no discomfort. This local wears off over 12 hours or so.
It takes less that half an hour to perform a frenuloplasty.
What are the risks of this operation?
All procedures have the potential for side effects. Although these complications are well recognised, the majority of patients do not have problems after a procedure.
Risks of the anaesthetic need be discussed with the anaesthetist who will be looking after you during the operation, and who will visit you beforehand.
There are specific risks with this surgical procedure, and these will be discussed with you before your procedure. As a guide to complement that one-on-one discussion with your surgeon, these include:
- Discomfort, lasting several days
- Bleeding that requires a further minor procedure
- Infection of the incision requiring antibiotics
- Failure to be satisfied with the cosmetic result
- Failure to resolve the tight foreskin, requiring a circumcision later on.
- A large bruise in the area that becomes infected, requiring a further procedure
- Narrowing of the urethra at the opening, requiring further procedures.
After the operation
You will be given specific instructions before you leave the hospital.
If you have any of the complications above, or you feel unwell, return to your nearest emergency department. Most people will have some swelling and bruising, but if this is worrying, do ask for help. Likewise, some discomfort is usual. This discomfort will soon improve. If the pain is worrying, ask for help.
Generally, avoid work for 48 hours, longer of you have a strenuous job. Avoid sexual activity for 6 weeks, as the stitches can tear. You can shower the day after your operation, but avoid a bath for three days. Do not swim for a few days
This information is intended as an educational guide only, and is here to help you as an additional source of information, along with a consultation from your urologist. The information does not apply to all patients.
Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.