Penile fracture surgery is an urgent surgery done to repair the tunica albuginea and occasionally also the corpus cavernosum of the penis. The tunica albuginea is the fibrous tissue covering the corpora cavernosa (that get filled with blood to get and maintain an erection) and the corpus spongiosum containing the male urethra. A penile fracture or broken penis occurs when the penis is bent violently or forcefully while erect. A Fracture of the penis is a medical emergency requiring surgery! If you suspect any trauma occurred to the penis while erect, please visit the nearest Emergency Room. Bedaya Hospital’s team has an expert team to treat penile fractures.
The penis has corpora cavernosa which are two columns of tissues that get filled with blood in different quantities in reaction to sexual arousal and are responsible for penile erection and firmness. One of these columns is called a corpus cavernosum. The corpora cavernosum are surrounded by the tunica albuginea which is a protective layer of stretchy membrane. If the tunica is torn this usually happens if trauma occurs when the penis is erect, penile fracture occurs and the penis is considered broken. Sometimes the patient can hear a breaking sound which is one of the symptoms.
Penile fracture symptoms
Penile fracture symptoms include:
- Acute penile pain
- Immediate loss of erection.
- A sound of something breaking “popping or cracking” sound
- Swelling in in the penile shaft other than that of an erection
- Discoloration of the penile shaft or the formation of a hematoma due to penile bleeding
- Hematuria (blood in urine)
Penile fracture causes
Penile fracture causes are mostly related to rough, violent sex or experimenting with new “innovative” sexual positions.
- A sexual position where the female is on top can cause a broken penis if her motions are sudden and forceful causing forceful bending of the penis.
- Violent masturbation or the inexperienced inserting of the penis in objects like sex toys causing it to bend while erect can break the penis
- Any force of impact like hitting or falling on the penis while erect can cause a penile fracture.
Penile fracture surgery
Penile fracture surgery is the only correct treatment for a penile fracture, and it should be treated as a medical emergency just like a testicular torsion. Arriving at the Emergency Room an andrologist or urologist will do a doppler ultrasound to determine if this is indeed a penile fracture or if the experienced pain is just a minor trauma without penile fracture, also the exact location, extent and severity of the fraction will be determined. In most cases a penile fracture comes along with urethra damage which will also be evaluated during the ultrasound.
Surgery to treat a penile fracture is mostly done under general anesthesia and takes from 40 minutes to an hour to successfully finish.
The surgeon makes an incision in the skin of the penis, drains any bleeding and then treats the fracture by repairing the tunica albuginea with stitches, if there is any damage to the urethra that will also be treated accordingly.
Penile fracture surgery recovery
The recovery period takes several days to a week, during which the patient must avoid any physical exertion or sports activity. Often it is advised to take a leave from work for 2-3 weeks depending on the doctor’s evaluation and the nature of the patient’s job. The patient cannot lift heavy weights, drive for long periods, or put pressure on pelvic muscles in any way it is also strongly advised not to engage in sexual activity in the first 3 weeks after surgery. It is very important to adhere to the prescribed medication, often antibiotics and pain killers. The wound must be always kept clean and dry to prevent infection.
Some patients face some difficulty in regaining their ability to have an erection, but with time the patient erects naturally, and the doctor will keep following the case until he makes sure that the erection is normal.