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Short penile frenulum(Frenulum breve)

What is a short frenulum?

The penile frenulum functions to help the foreskin stay over the glans (head) of the penis. If it is too short it may prevent the foreskin from being pulled back, or on erection cause the glans of the penis to be pulled/curved downwards.

This then makes the penis shorter, be painful during erection and sex, and even repeatedly tear causing bleeding and pain.

How is a short frenulum treated?

Needle-less and suture-less frenuloplasty!

Frenulum breve can be simply fixed in most men in under 10 minutes by cutting the tight frenulum (Frenuloplasty) under local anaesthesia. Local anaesthetic cream is applied 90min before the surgery. Injections are usually not necessary.

The tight band is cut across ways with an electrical needle, releasing any tightness. The skin is closed using surgical glue along the frenulum to increase its length. Sutures are not needed, and the glue acts a barrier to infection. Dressings are not required.

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Alternative Treatment - Circumcision

Circumcision may remove the frenulum so circumcised men have problems less frequently. It is generally not necessary to have a circumcision to repair a short frenulum unless there is associated phimosis – narrowing of the opening of the foreskin such that it cannot be retracted easily over the glans penis.

This releases the tight frenulum but also removes the foreskin. Removal of the foreskin may reduce the sensitivity of the penis and affect sexual enjoyment.

Fortunately frenulum breve can be simply fixed in most men with just local anaesthetic. We use a small injection of local anaesthetic. The tight band is cut across ways (sometimes for very thick bands a portion may need to be excised). The glans is rotated upwards and any tightness released. Then the skin is closed using surgical glue or tiny dissolving stitches running lengthways along the frenulum to increase its length. Dressings are not required.

Post frenuloplasty care

The stitches/glue dissolve in about 2 weeks. It is important to roll down the foreskin twice a day to prevent any sticking. It is unusual to have any significant issues. It will be slightly tender and it is best not to have sex for a month.

Some men may get a bit of swelling in the area. There is a small blood vessel in the area, therefore it is possible to get some bleeding afterwards (about 5%). In some cases, frenuloplasty may not be curative and may require circumcision. Prolonged tenderness is rare (1/50) as is being unsatisfied with the cosmetic outcome.

Our Team of Urologists
Consultant Urologist

Dr Robert Tan

Dr Robert Tan is a practicing consultant urologist with over 35 years of experience. He graduated from the medical school at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and has cared for thousands of patients over the decades.

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Consultant Urologist

Dr Lincoln Tan

Dr Lincoln Tan is a consultant urologist and accredited robotic surgeon. Dr Tan is trained in all aspects of open and endoscopic urology and specialises in the minimally invasive treatment of urologic cancers.

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