When the opening at the tip of a child’s penis (urethral meatus) is too small, or the shape of the hole distorts the urinary stream, making it difficult to urinate, meatoplasty is done to surgically open the tip of the penis with an incision, then using sutures to stitch the edges together. This helps widen the area around the meatus to make peeing easier, resulting in a larger hole for urine to come out.
Meatoplasty is one of the most common surgical procedures performed at Colin Teo Urology. If you have heard of the “meatotomy" term before, meatotomy is essentially the incision and enlargement of the urinary meatus, while meatoplasty is the remodelling of the urethral meatus.
When the meatus is too small, it is called meatal stenosis. Meatal stenosis occurs in around 10% of males. It is a common condition amongst circumcised male infants. It can also be caused by irritation, inflammation, or injury to the meatus.
A urine sample may be taken to test for a urinary tract infection as a cause of any problems. Your doctor will ask questions about symptoms and do a physical examination.
If the patient is diagnosed with meatal stenosis, a meatoplasty procedure is done to fix the problem. It is a simple procedure usually performed on an outpatient basis with topical or general anaesthetic.
The surgery involves removing or incising tissue that may be obstructing the urethral opening. Small dissolvable stitches or surgical glue are then placed. The goal is to help the patient pee more efficiently and comfortably and improve the urine stream.
During the postoperative period, tissue swelling or small scabs may cause temporary changes in the appearance of the urine stream. The patient may notice some new spraying or splitting of the urine stream. This should resolve within 1-2 weeks of the surgery, as swelling resolves and stitches or surgical glue dissolve.
The patient may experience a stinging sensation the first few times he urinates. This usually goes away within the first 24 hours. A daily warm bath will facilitate healing and provide comfort. Apply antibiotic ointment to the meatus four times daily a week. Avoid constipation, empty the bladder every few hours, and do not overhold urine.
The patient can resume daily activities when pain is well controlled. Avoid straddling activities, contact sports and swimming for seven days or until completely healed.
Dr Colin Teo is the Founding Head of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital’s Urology Department, with years of experience in minimally invasive keyhole surgery, operating with precision surgical techniques. Many fellows have trained under his mentorship. He did a Fellowship in EndoLaparoscopy and Andrology at St James’ Hospital in Leeds, UK and was sponsored for a Senior Healthcare Medical Development Program (HMDP) in Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery at University of Southern California (USC) Keck Hospital in Los Angeles, USA.
Dr Teo is the President of the Society for Men’s Health. He performs meatoplasty as day surgery and provides attentive and personal peri-operative care with his dedicated clinical team to ensure an optimal recovery outcome for his patients.
If you have enquiries about the meatoplasty procedure, drop us a note. We will be happy to offer our professional advice. Contact us to book a consultation with Colin Teo Urology today.