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06.06.2017 | Urology - Review | Ausgabe 9/2017

International Urology and Nephrology 9/2017

Utilities of scrotal flap for reconstruction of penile skin defects after severe burn injury

International Urology and Nephrology > Ausgabe 9/2017
Le Guo, Minghua Zhang, Jizhang Zeng, Pengfei Liang, Pihong Zhang, Xiaoyuan Huang



In the present study, we aimed to present our experience of an effective two-stage surgical approach using scrotal skin flap for patients with penile skin defects following severe burn injury.

Materials and methods

A total of 17 patients with penile skin defects underwent scheduled two-stage reconstruction using scrotal skin flap from January 2004 to October 2016. Patients, who were selected as eligible candidates for scrotal flap, exhibited a wide range of indications, including iatrogenic injuries (e.g., diathermy treatment after circumcision), scalding, flame injuries and electrical burns. During the first stage, the denuded penis secondary to debridement was temporally embedded in scrotal skin flap through an intrascrotal tunnel created between the skin and darto’s fascia. During the second stage, the skin around the penis was separated and divided from the scrotum after incising the scrotal skin at the ventral penile base. After a mean follow-up of 30 months, the reconstructed penises yielded satisfactory aesthetic outcomes and maintained erectile function.


The mean age of patients was 35 years (19–55 years), and the median follow-up was 30 months (12–60 months). No major perioperative complication occurred except for dehiscence of scrotal skin after 2nd stage in three patients, and split-thickness skin grafts were applied for recovery of scrotum. Of 17 cases, 15 patients (88.2%) were in satisfactory cosmetic appearance. All patients regained penile sensation and normal voiding function in standing position. The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) was used to assess sexual function, with 13 patients (76.5%) reported normal erectile function, while the rest 4 reported mild erectile dysfunction. With regards to intercourse satisfaction domain, encouraging results indicated a total of 17 patients resumed sexual intercourse after surgery. In overall satisfaction domain, 11/17 (64.7%) reported a satisfaction from “very” to “moderately” with their overall sex life and sexual relationship with their partners, while only one patient reported “moderately dissatisfied” with his overall sex life.


We report a series of particular cases, including rare iatrogenic injury (diathermy treatment after circumcision) and severe compound electrical injury. Meanwhile, we show our successful experience that scrotal skin flap could be used as an effective surgical alternative to cover severe burn injury wound in male genitalia. The scrotal flap, with higher anti-infection ability and flexible contexture, is available for recovering penile skin defects following severe burn injury resulting in good aesthetic and sexual outcomes.

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