The Surgical Treatment of Adult Acquired Buried Penis Syndrome: A New Classification System

Aesthet Surg J. 2019 Aug 22;39(9):979-988. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjy325.


Background: Adult acquired buried penis syndrome may be associated with an inability to void, sexual dysfunction, and recurrent infection. Previously published classification systems rely on intraoperative findings, such as penile skin quality.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate outcomes after adult acquired buried penis repair and to develop a classification system based on preoperative assessment.

Methods: The authors reviewed data from patients who underwent buried penis reconstruction at a single institution. Patient history and physical examination guided the development of a classification system for surgical planning.

Results: Of the 27 patients included, the mean age was 56 ± 15 years and mean body mass index was 49 ± 14 kg/m2. Patients were classified into 4 groups based on examination findings: (I) buried penis due to skin deficiency, iatrogenic scarring, and/or diseased penile skin (n = 3); (II) excess abdominal skin and fat (n = 6); (III) excess skin and fat with diseased penile skin (n = 16); and (IV) type III plus severe scrotal edema (n = 2). Surgical treatment (eg, excision and grafting, mons suspension, panniculectomy, translocation of testes, and/or scrotectomy) was tailored based on classification. Complications included wound breakdown (n = 3), cellulitis (n = 4), and hematoma (n = 1). Nearly all patients (96%) reported early satisfaction and improvement in their symptoms postoperatively.

Conclusions: Classifying patients with buried penis according to preoperative examination findings may guide surgical decision-making and preoperative counseling and allow for optimized aesthetics to enhance self-esteem and sexual well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominoplasty / methods*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index
  • Clinical Decision-Making / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penile Diseases / classification*
  • Penile Diseases / surgery
  • Penis / surgery*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Preoperative Period
  • Scrotum / surgery*
  • Skin Transplantation / methods
  • Syndrome
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult