Newborn Nursery at LPCH

Penile Torsion

photo by Janelle Aby,MD

This is an example of penile torsion of about 90 degrees. Although the urethral meatus itself cannot be visualized, one can see that the relatively flat ventral surface of the glans is facing the infant's left thigh instead of the midline. A mild degree of torsion (<60 degrees) is felt to be a variation of normal and is not a contraindication for circumcision. In this case, circumcision was postponed until the time of surgical correction at about 4 months of age. Penile torsion does not cause functional impairment in newborns, but high degrees of torsion should be corrected (with or without circumcision) to prevent painful or dysfunctional erections in later life.

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