This is a surgical procedure to remove part of the penis. During this process a section of skin may be taken from another area of the body such as the thigh to replace some of the tissue removed (skin graft).
This type of surgery will affect the appearance of the penis and it is important for men and their partners to:
- Ask their surgeon or health professional to give them as much information as possible with regard to the possible change in appearance of their penis following surgery. This will help prepare them for the change in body image.
- Men should ask their specialist nurse to discuss the treatment that they are having and what to expect immediately after, and in the long term following treatment. If possible they should try and involve their partner and family as they will be affected by these changes too.
- If men are having difficulty in preparing for their treatment either emotionally or psychologically they can ask their specialist team about counselling; talking to a healthcare professional to express their fears or concerns.
- Painkillers will be given on a regular basis for any pain and it is important that men take the painkillers regularly and not just when pain is experienced.
- The penis will have a surgical dressing over it. This will usually be removed after 2 – 3 days.Once it is removed men should be able to have a bath or shower; however they should pat the wound dry with a clean towel or gauze and avoid any material that may leave fibres behind.
- If men have had a graft taken from their thigh a waterproof dressing may be left in place for 2 weeks. Men will not need to stay in hospital for this time as it will usually be checked and removed by a District Nurse when they are at home.
- Any stitches will be dissolvable but may take 4 – 6 weeks to fully disperse. Men will have a urinary catheter (urine drainage tube) which will usually need to remain in for up to 5 days.
For more information on catheters and catheter care please click here
For men who do not have a catheter in when they are discharged it is important to avoid holding the penis directly when they pass urine until it has fully healed.
- It is best to avoid sexual intercourse for 8 weeks following surgery.
- Men will need a minimum 4 weeks off work.
- A follow up appointment will usually be made for a few weeks to check that the operation site(s) are healing satisfactorily.
It will usually take a few weeks for the results of the cancerous tissue that has been removed to be analysed by a medical scientist and an appointment will usually be made around this time for these results and to discuss any further treatment which may be recommended.
- Always ask their specialist exactly what the surgery will involve and what to expect after the operation.
- Plan ahead with regard to time off work allowing for the healing process.
- Try and maximise their health prior to the operation by eating healthily.
- Try and take steady exercise prior to their operation which will help keep the body healthy.
- Try and get into the habit of moving their feet at rest and avoiding crossing their legs. This will help reduce the possibility of blood clots forming in the legs which can sometimes occur when mobility is reduced.
For information on coping and dealing with the results of penile cancer treatment please click here
To read personal stories of men who have been affected and treated for penile cancer please click here
Last reviewed 26/1/17 Next review July 2017
References available on request.