The opening at the tip of the penis is called the urethral meatus. Sometimes this opening is too small, making it hard for your child to pass urine. A meatotomy (or meatoplasty) is the procedure done to enlarge this opening. This may be done in the office using a local anesthetic (a numbing jelly) or in the operating room with anesthesia.
Most children do not have much pain after this procedure. Your child may feel a little stinging or burning the first time he urinates, but this usually goes away quickly. Neosporin plus pain control may be applied to the opening as needed (several times a day) both to help keep the area from sticking to the diaper or underwear and to decrease pain with urination. If your child is uncomfortable, you may give him children's acetaminophen (Tylenol) or children's ibuprofen. Your doctor may also give you a prescription for pain medication for use after the procedure.
Care of the site
After the procedure, it is important for you to spread the opening and apply ointment (aquaphor or an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin or bacitracin) three times daily, and at bath time for one week. This will prevent the edges of the new opening from closing back together. The doctor or nurse will teach you how to do this.
Your son should sit in a tub of clear, warm water without soap or bubble bath for 10 to 15 minutes each day, starting the day of surgery. This will help keep the area clean and prevent crusting.
A small amount of ointment may be placed on the diaper or on a gauze pad in his underpants to keep the area from sticking.
There may be a small amount of blood-tinged drainage from the opening for a few days.
Activity is not restricted after a meatotomy or meatoplasty.
Call our office if you notice:
- Bleeding from the incision
- The incision becomes more swollen and/or red
- Drainage that smells bad
- Temperature over 100.5
- Pain not controlled by acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Your son has a hard time urinating
If you have questions or problems, reach us at 603-653-9882 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. After hours, you should call the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center switchboard at 603-650-5000 and ask to speak to the Urology Resident on call.
Page reviewed on: Apr 29, 2009
Page reviewed by: Leslie T. McQuiston, MD