Dorsal penile nerve block

Paediatr Anaesth. 2003 May;13(4):329-33. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9592.2003.01033.x.


Background: The dorsal penile nerve block (DPNB) is a common form of regional anaesthesia for circumcisions in children. The safety of this block has been questioned following several case reports of potentially serious complications.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of all the incidents related to the conduct of this block in our institution over a period of 53 months.

Results: A total of 3909 circumcisions were performed under DPNB and nine incidents were recorded. This included two cases of bleeding from the prepuce, two urethral injuries, three haematomas and two drug errors. Two cases required further surgical intervention but all of the patients recovered with no apparent long-term sequelae.

Conclusions: We feel that the DPNB is a safe technique for circumcisions in infants and children.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Circumcision, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nerve Block / adverse effects*
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Penis / innervation*
  • Retrospective Studies