Purpose: Buried penis may develop after circumcision, mostly during infancy, presumably due to peripubic fat. A surgical approach may be recommended for psychological benefits to patients and parents, and because it is believed that this condition will not improve on its own with time. The aim of this study was to assess the natural history of buried penis after newborn circumcision.
Materials and methods: During a routine visit to the pediatrician infants with buried penis were assessed by a single pediatric surgeon between January 2004 and June 2007. In December 2007 all of these children were reexamined by the same pediatric surgeon and the natural growth of the genitalia was analyzed.
Results: A total of 88 infants were enrolled in the study. When they were first examined they were 3 to 6 months old (mean 3.3). In December 2007, after reexamination, patients were divided into groups based on age, including those younger than 1 year (14 patients), 1 to 3 years (59) and older than 3 years (15). The aspect of the genitalia was evaluated by the same pediatric surgeon for each patient. Buried penis was noted in 14 of 14 patients younger than 1 year (100%), 19 of 59 patients 1 to 3 years old (32.2%) and 1 of 15 patients older than 3 years (6.7%).
Conclusions: Buried penis after newborn circumcision is not permanent. As infants get older, and after beginning to walk, the appearance usually turns out to be normal. This resolution may be due to growth and/or maturation alone. Based on our results, we do not recommend surgery for buried penis in children younger than 3 years.