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Chordee Repair

Pronounced: kor-DEE ree-pahr

Definition

Chordee repair is a surgery to straighten the penis. It is done for a condition of the penis called chordee. Chordee causes the penis to be curved, which is most obvious during an erection.

A chordee repair is done by a specialized doctor called a pediatric urologist. The surgery is typically done after age 6 months.

Male Reproductive System
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Reasons for Procedure

This procedure is done on boys born with:

  • Chordee
  • Hypospadias with chordee—The opening of the urethra is on the bottom of the penis instead of at the tip of the penis.

Possible Complications

If your child is having the surgery, the doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Shortened penis
  • Bleeding
  • Need for another operation
  • Reaction to the anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Psychological trauma

Discuss these risks with the doctor before surgery.

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

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 medicines and supplements. Your child may need to stop certain medicines before the surgery. Your child may also need to take certain medicines 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.

Anesthesia

Local or general anesthesia will be used. This will block any pain.

Description of Procedure

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:

  • Removing tissue that is constricting the erection
  • Making the longer and shorter sides of the penis equal in length
  • Lengthening the urethra if the urethra is short—tissue from the foreskin or another site will be used

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.

How Long Will It Take?

About 1 to 2 hours or 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.

How Much Will It Hurt?

Your child will not feel any pain during surgery. Medicine will be given after the procedure to manage pain.

Post-procedure Care

At the Care Center

The staff will monitor your child as they wake up. Pain medicine will be given.

At Home

Light, gentle activity will be needed for a few days.

Call Your Child's Doctor

Contact your child's doctor if the recovery is not going as you expect or they have problems such as:

  • Pain that is not controlled with the medicines your child was given
  • Redness, increased swelling, or tenderness in the penis
  • Bleeding from the penis
  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Inability to eat or drink
  • Difficulty urinating or inability to urinate
  • Stitches fall out

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.

RESOURCES:

Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
https://www.healthychildren.org

Urology Care Foundation
http://www.urologyhealth.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Urological Association
http://www.cua.org

Health Canada
https://www.canada.ca

REFERENCES:

Hypospadias. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hypospadias. Accessed September 17, 2020.

Hypospadias and chordee. Beaumont Health website. Available at: https://www.beaumont.org/conditions/hypospadias-chordee. Accessed September 17, 2020.

Hypospadias/chordee. Cincinnati Children's website. Available at: https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/h/hypospadias. Accessed September 17, 2020.

Mingin G, Baskin L. Management of chordee in children and young adults. Urol Clin N Am. 2002;29(2):277-284.

Montag S, Palmer L. Abnormalities of penile curvature: chordee and penile torsion. ScientificWorldJournal. 2011;11:1470-1478.

Snodgrass W. Management of penile curvature in children. Curr Opin Urol. 2008;18(4):431-435.

Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD  Last Updated: 1/6/2021