Penectomy

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This article mentions genitals, reproductive organs, and surgery, with a photo of the results. If you are not comfortable with reading about this kind of topic, we suggest you take a step back.
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Surgeries and procedures

Penectomy is surgical removal of the penis, for medical or personal reasons, without trying to reconstruct the genitals into a vagina.[1]

Disambiguation: penectomy only refers to the removal of the penis. When the testicles as well as the penis are removed, this is called emasculation. Emasculation is a form of genital nullification. Removal of just the testicles is called orchiectomy or "orchi" for short. Historically, removal of the testicles was called castration.[2] This page should focus only on the removal of the penis.

Penectomy as part of a gender transition[edit | edit source]

For some transgender people, who may or may not think of themselves as having a nonbinary identity, a penectomy can be a part of their physical gender transition. In the United States, penectomies are rare. It is currently more common for trans people who seek bottom surgery to have the penis reconstructed into a vagina. That is a different surgery, called vaginoplasty.[1]

Penectomy to treat other physical problems[edit | edit source]

Cancer sometimes necessitates removal of part or all of the penis.[3] The amount of penis removed depends on the severity of the cancer. Some men have only the tip of their penis removed. For others with more advanced cancer, the entire penis must be removed.[4]

In rare instances, botched circumcisions have also resulted in full or partial penectomies, as with David Reimer.

Fournier gangrene can also be a reason for penectomy and/or orchiectomy.

Follow-up support[edit | edit source]

Because of the rarity of cancers which require the partial or total removal of the penis, support from people who have had the penis removed can be difficult to find locally. Website support networks are available.[4] For instance, the American Cancer Society's Cancer Survivors Network website provides information for finding support networks.[5] Surgery to create a penis (called phalloplasty) is also an option for reconstruction of a penis after penectomy.

Sexual support[edit | edit source]

Patients that have undergone a partial penectomy as a result of a penile cancer diagnosis have reported similar sexual outcomes as prior to surgery.[6] Sexual support therapists and specialists are available nationally in the United States and can be accessed through the specialist cancer services.[4] Many surgeons or hospitals will also provide this information post operatively. Local government health services departments may be able to provide advice, names, and contact numbers.

Images[edit | edit source]

A photo of a person's groin after partial penectomy.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Laura Erickson-Schroth, ed. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community. Oxford University Press, 2014. Page 279, 617.
  2. "Non-Binary Options For Bottom Surgery". MTFsurgery.net. 8 April 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  3. Korets, Ruslan; Koppie, Theresa M.; Snyder, Mark E.; Russo, Paul (2007). "Partial Penectomy for Patients With Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Penis: The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Experience". Annals of Surgical Oncology. 14 (12): 3614–3619. doi:10.1245/s10434-007-9563-9. ISSN 1068-9265. PMID 17896151.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Kennard, Jerry (2006-07-22). "Penectomy: Partial and Total Removal of the Penis". About.com. Retrieved 2011-09-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. "Cancer Survivors Network". American Cancer Society. Retrieved 2011-09-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. Sansalone, Salvatore; Silvani, Mauro; Leonardi, Rosario; Vespasiani, Giuseppe; Iacovelli, Valerio (2015). "Sexual outcomes after partial penectomy for penile cancer: results from a multiinstitutional study". Asian Journal of Andrology. 0 (0): 0. doi:10.4103/1008-682X.168690. ISSN 1008-682X. PMC 5227676. PMID 26643562.