Dorsal Slit of the Foreskin
Dorsal slit of the foreskin is an operative procedure that is performed on the foreskin of the penis to relieve the tightness that prevents retraction. The alternatives to this procedure include circumcision and observation.
Before the Procedure
Before performing the dorsal slit of the foreskin procedure, you would be required to visit the hospital at least a fortnight before the actual operation for pre-assessment. The doctor will assess your general fitness, perform various baseline investigations, and also screen whether you carry the deadly Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterium. On the day of the surgery, you would be required not to eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours prior to the surgery. Before the operation, the anesthetist might give you a medication that is likely to make you sleepy and dry-mouthed. It is important that you inform the doctor if you have an artificial heart valve, heart pacemaker or a defibrillator, artificial joint, coronary artery stent, or a neurosurgical shunt.
During the Procedure
While performing the dorsal slit of the foreskin procedure, the doctor can either give you a full anesthetic or a spinal anesthetic. Both the methods aim at reducing the pain that can be felt during the operation. For the operation, the surgeon will split the foreskin along its length on the top of the penis. Next, the surgeon will stitch the edges of the newly made slit together thereby leaving the head of the penis partially exposed behind the open foreskin.
After the Procedure
Once the operation is finished, you might experience discomfort for a couple of days. However, the doctor will prescribe pain-killers that will help curb the pain. The doctors normally use absorbable stitches, so you need not visit the hospital again for their removal. The doctor might ask you to apply vaseline on the tip of the penis and around the stitches. You would need to wear light, comfortable inner wear. Inform the doctor if you experience persistent pain.
Side Effects Associated with Dorsal Slit of the Foreskin
Like any other surgical procedure, the dorsal slit of the foreskin procedure too has some side effects. Some of the commonly observed side effects are listed below:
- A common side effect associated with dorsal slit of the foreskin procedure is that the penis might become swollen for a couple of days.
- Occasionally (about 1 in 10 or 1 in 50 cases), bleeding might be observed from the part that has been operated and it might require a correctional surgery.
- Another occasionally observed side effect is that the site of the incision becomes infected and further treatment might be required for the infection.
- At times, if the absorbable stitches still remain after 3-4 weeks, then the doctor might need to remove them manually.
- A very rarely observed side effect is that the scar might remain tender after the surgery or the patient is not satisfied with the cosmetic effect of the surgery.
- High-risk patients, such as those who have had their bladder removed or have long term drainage tubes, run the risk of getting the hospital acquired infection, especially MRSA colonization or MRSA blood stream infection.
- “Non-retractile foreskin: a single center 13-year experience” by Amulya K. Saxena, et al. Published in Volume 85, Number 2, Aril-June 2000 edition of INTERNATIONAL SURGERY, accessed on 8 June 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.cirp.org/library/treatment/phimosis/saxena1/