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. 1998;17(1):113-23.

Case Consultation: Ablatio Penis

  • PMID: 9646598

Case Consultation: Ablatio Penis

J Money. Med Law. .


In male infants, traumatic ablation of the penis, with or without loss of the testicles may occur as a sequel to mutilatory violence, accidental injury, or circumcision error. Post-traumatically, one program of case management is surgical sex reassignment to live as a girl, with female hormonal therapy at the age of puberty. The other program is genital reconstructive surgery to live as a boy, with male hormonal therapy at puberty if the testicles are missing. In both programs, the long term outcome is less than perfect and is contingent on intervening variables that include societal ideology; surgical technology; juvenile and adolescent timing and frequency of hospital admissions construed by the child as nosocomial abuse; development of body image; health and sex education; fertility versus sterility; coitus and orgasm; possible lesbian orientation if living as a girl; and long-term cost accounting, including the psychic cost of being a pawn in possible malpractice litigation on whose disability a very large fortune in compensation may devolve. There is, as yet, no unanimously endorsed set of guidelines for the treatment of genital trauma and mutilation in infancy, and no provision for a statistical depository for outcome data.

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