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Frenulum breve: how to identify and when to have surgery

A short frenulum, scientifically known as frenulum breve, is a condition in which the piece of skin that connects the foreskin to the glans is shorter than normal, causing a lot of tension when pulling the foreskin back or during an erection. This can cause the frenulum to tear during more vigorous activities such as sexual contact, resulting in severe pain and bleeding.

As this problem doesn't improve on its own over time, it is recommended to seek an urologist to have the foreskin examined and decide if it is necessary to have surgery, known as frenuloplasty, where the frenulum is cut in order to release the skin and reduce tension during erection.

Frenulum breve: how to identify and when to have surgery

How to identify a short frenulum

In most cases, it's easy to identify whether the frenulum is shorter than normal, as it's not possible to pull the foreskin completely without feeling a slight pressure on the frenulum.

However, other signs that may indicate this problem include:

  • Pain or discomfort that makes sexual contact unpleasant;
  • The head of the penis folds down when the foreskin is pulled back;
  • The skin of the glans cannot be completely pulled back.

This problem can often be confused with phimosis, however, it’s generally not possible to see all the frenulum in this case. However, if there is a suspicion of either a short frenulum or phimosis, it is recommended to seek an urologist to start the appropriate treatment, especially before starting an active sex life, so as to prevent any discomfort.

How to treat a short frenulum

The treatment for a short frenulum should always be recommended by an urologist, because, according to the tightness of the frenulum, different techniques, such as ointments with betamethasone or skin stretching exercises, can be followed.

However, surgery is recommended in almost all cases.

How is surgery done

Surgery for a short frenulum, also known as frenuloplasty, is a very simple and quick treatment that can be done in the office of the urologist. The surgery usually takes about 30 minutes, using only local anesthesia, and the patient can return home shortly after.

Thorough healing takes about 2 weeks after surgery and sex should be avoided for the same period, as should getting into pools or the sea, so as to help with the healing and avoid infections.

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