Chordee repair is a surgery to straighten the penis.
It is done to repair a birth defect of the penis called
chordee. This defect makes the penis curve downward during an erection.
A chordee repair is done by a specialized doctor called a pediatric urologist.
The surgery is typically done after six months of age if the penis curvature is greater than 30 degrees. Curvature of the penis greater than 60 degrees can affect sexual function later in life.
The Male Reproductive System
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This procedure is done on male infants born with:
with chordee—the opening of the urethra is on the bottom of the penis instead of at the tip of the penis. Hypospadias can make it difficult for the child to urinate while standing. It can also affect sexual function later in life.
After surgery, the penis should function normally.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If your child is having the surgery, the doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
- Shortened penis
- Need for another operation
- Reaction to the anesthesia
Discuss these risks with the doctor before surgery.
The following may be done:
- Physical exam, which may include causing an artificial erection to check the degree of curvature
- Blood and urine tests
- A discussion about the anesthesia being used and the potential risks
Talk to the doctor about your child’s medications and supplements. Your child may need to stop certain medications before the surgery. Your child may also need to take certain medications to prepare for surgery.
Your child will need to have an empty stomach before the procedure. Ask the doctor when your child will need to stop breastfeeding or eating.
Several techniques may be used to straighten the penis. In general, surgery aims to make the longer and shorter sides of the penis equal in length. Techniques may include:
- Releasing tight, shortened foreskin
- Suturing extra tissue on the longer side with permanent or absorbable stitches
- Cutting the lining of the urethra if the urethra is short
An artificial erection will be created using a special injection. This will confirm that the penis is straight. Bandages will be placed around the penis.
About 1-2 hours—longer if your child is having a more complex procedure
The surgery is usually done in an outpatient setting. Your child will not need to stay in the hospital overnight.
Your child will not feel any pain during surgery. Medication will be given after the procedure to manage pain.
The staff will monitor your child and give him pain medication as needed.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your child's chance of infection such as:
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your child's incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your child's chances of infection such as:
- Washing your hands and your child's hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your child's healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your child's incisions
When your child returns home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
- Your child should only engage in light, gentle activities while the penis is healing.
- Follow all of the doctor’s instructions.
After arriving home, contact the doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Pain that is not controlled with the medication that has been given
- Redness, increased swelling, or tenderness in the penis
- Bleeding from the penis
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Inability to eat or drink
- Difficulty urinating or inability to urinate
- Stitches fall out
In case of an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), National Guideline Clearinghouse. Guidelines on penile curvature. AHRQ, National Guideline Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=37628&search=congenital+penile+curvature. Published February 2012. Accessed September 11, 2014.
Congenital penile curvature: chordee. Institute for Sexual Medicine website. Available at:
http://sexualmed.org/index.cfm/sexual-health-issues/for-men/congenital-penile-curvature-chordee/. Accessed September 11, 2014.
Hypospadias. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 21, 2014. Accessed September 11, 2014.
Last reviewed August 2014 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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