Reconstructive Surgery for Severe Penile Inadequacy

Objectives. Severe penile inadequacy in adolescents is rare. Phallic reconstruction to treat this devastating condition is a major challenge to the reconstructive surgeon. Phallic reconstruction using the free radial forearmflap (RFF) or the pedicled anterolateral thigh flap (ALTF) has been routinely used in female-to-male transsexuals. Recently we started to use these techniques in the treatment of severe penile inadequacy. Methods. Eleven males (age 15 to 42 years) were treated with a phallic reconstruction. The RFF is our method of choice; the ALTF is an alternative when a free flap is contraindicated or less desired by the patient. The RFF was used in 7 patients, the ALTF in 4 patients. Mean followup was 25 months (range: 4–49 months). Aesthetic and functional results were evaluated. Results. There were no complications related to the flap. Aesthetic results were judged as “good” in 9 patients and “moderate” in 2 patients. Sensitivity in the RFF was superior compared to the ALTF. Four patients developed urinary complications (stricture and/or fistula). Six patients underwent erectile implant surgery. In 2 patients the erectile implant had to be removed due to infection or erosion. Conclusion. In case of severe penile inadequacy due to whatever condition, a phalloplasty is the preferred treatment nowadays. The free radial forearm flap is still the method of choice. The anterolateral thigh flap can be a good alternative, especially when free flaps are contraindicated, but sensitivity is markedly inferior in these flaps.

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