What Is Meatoplasty?
Meatoplasty (mee-AT-uh-plas-tee) is a simple procedure to fix meatal stenosis. The meatus (mee-AY-tis) is the opening in a boy's penis where the urine (pee) comes out. In meatal stenosis (mee-AT-ul steh-NO-sis), the meatus is too small.
Meatoplasty (also called meatotomy) makes the meatus bigger so that pee can come out normally.
What Happens During Meatoplasty?
Meatoplasty is done by a , a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating problems with the urinary system. Before the meatoplasty, a boy gets general anesthesia so he will sleep through the procedure and not feel pain.
The urologist makes a small cut in the meatus to make the opening bigger. Absorbable stitches (stitches that dissolve on their own) are placed around the bigger meatus. This helps it stay bigger as it heals.
What Happens After Meatoplasty?
A boy might have some vomiting (throwing up) for a short time after the surgery. This is from the anesthesia and usually goes away within a few hours.
Some redness, soreness, and swelling where the cut was made are normal for a day or two after meatoplasty.
How Do I Care for My Son at Home?
After the surgery, it's OK for your son to have clear liquids (such as apple juice, broth, ice pops, and water). For babies, give an oral electrolyte solution (ORS), which is a special liquid with the right amounts of water and electrolytes for children. Brand names include Pedialyte® and Enfalyte® and many stores also have a store brand. You can buy it at drugstores or supermarkets without a prescription.
If your son is taking the clear liquids/electrolyte drinks well, you can slowly start to give a regular diet.
For the first day after the surgery, dress your son in loose-fitting underwear. If he's still in diapers, change the diaper often. Or let your son be without a diaper if possible.
It's usually OK for a boy to bathe as usual starting the day after the surgery. But check with your doctor first.
Caring for the Surgical Site
For the next 2 weeks: Gently pull the edges of the meatus apart and apply antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly to the tip of the meatus 3 to 4 times a day.
After 2 weeks: Continue to gently pull the edges of the meatus apart and apply antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly once a day (at night) for another 2 weeks.
For 2–3 weeks, your son should not:
- use straddle toys (like a rocking horse) and playground equipment (such as a seesaw, jungle gym, slide, or swing set)
- ride a bike
- play roughly
- do other activities that could injure the meatus
If your son is uncomfortable, a pain medicine may help:
- If the doctor prescribed a pain medicine, use it as directed. Ask the doctor or pharmacist before also giving your son acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Taken together, this could be too much medicine.
- If your doctor did not prescribe a pain medicine and your child is younger than 6 months old, check with the doctor before giving medicine.
- If your doctor did not prescribe a pain medicine and your child is 6 months or older and the doctor says it's OK, you can give acetaminophen OR ibuprofen.
Go to all follow-up doctor visits as recommended.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
Call the doctor if your son:
- has pain when peeing
- has two streams while peeing
- is throwing up a lot and can't keep liquids down
- has trouble peeing
- has trouble pooping
- has bleeding or pus coming from his meatus
- seems to be having a lot of pain and can't be comforted
- has a fever
- can't pee
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995- KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.