Surgical repair of injury to the penis

What is this?

Repair of the erectile tissue of the penis or re-attachment of the suspensory ligament of the penis for damage occurring during sexual activity

What alternatives are there?

Observation, ice packs and compression

What to expect before procedure

Injury to the penis during sexual intercourse is unusual but the erect penis can be damaged in several ways:

You will usually have been admitted to hospital as an emergency. Surgery is required on a semi-urgent basis and will only be performed once you have had nothing to eat or drink for a minimum of 6 hours. A pre-medication will normally be prescribed by the anaesthetist 1-2 hours before the surgery; this will make you dry-mouthed and pleasantly sleepy.

What happens during the procedure?

Normally, a full general anaesthetic will be used and you will be asleep throughout the procedure. In some patients, the anaesthetist may also use an epidural anaesthetic which improves or minimises pain post-operatively. Local anaesthetic infiltration is often used to relieve discomfort after the operation. The actual procedure performed will depend on the type of injury: For “fracture” of the penis, the skin of the penis is reflected backwards, the tear repaired and the skin replaced; circumcision is often necessary as part of this procedure. For rupture of the suspensory ligament, a small incision is usually made in the pubic hair at the base of the penis and the ligament re-attached with stitches.

After the procedure

If you have undergone repair of a “fractured” penis, it is normal to leave a bladder catheter in place for 24-48 hours after the procedure. This is removed before you go home. In the rare event of the urethra (water pipe) being damaged as well, you will need to keep your catheter for 7-10 days. You may experience discomfort for a few days after the procedure but painkillers will be given to you to take home. Absorbable stitches are normally used which do not require removal. The average hospital stay is 3 days.

Potential side effects