SANTUCCI Buried Penis procedure

Richard A Santucci MD and Mang L Chen MD



– ancef, gent

– lithotomy w yellow fins

– mayo stand for large scrotum

– many 2-0 vicryls on SH and CT1

– skin dermotome 0.15 cm/in?

– mineral oil

Note: if pt does not have large scrotum or eschutcheon, place supine


– dorsal lithotomy, SCDs on outside

– L leg straight (or straighter) for later STSG

PROCEDURE: 3 main parts

(1) Removing diseased tissue and prepubic fat pad and skin

– demarcate lymphedematous tissue from normal tissue

– make transverse marking on prepubic fat pad about 4-5cm below where new penis opening will be created

– cut thru dermis with scalpel around markings

– use bovie and careful cautery (avoid spermatic cord) to cut thru diseased and redundant soft tissue

– use finger to locate buried penis and cut skin and soft tissue on top of finger to bivalve diseased tissue above buried penis (“gigantic dorsal slit”)

– use blunt hand dissection to locate spermatic cord and testis and reflect upward

– continue bovie excision of diseased lymphedematous tissue

(2) Penile reconstruction

– put 2-0 prolene into glans of penis dorsally (big bite) as holding stitch

– place foley catheter

– make circumcision marking and cut with scalpel

– remove diseased penile shaft skin

– bluntly dissect penis proximally–”deglove”

– estimate location of where penis will “pop out” of prepubic fat pad/skin and make circular mark

– radically defat fat below prepubic fat skin to make sure penis has room to rise (make sure not to make skin/subQ flap too thin to avoid necrosis): this is done with allis clamps for retraction of trash fat and rakes to lift flaps upward

– put penis thru prepubic fat pad hole (Santucci calls this Escutcheon)

– use 2-0 vicryl interrupted sutures to secure deep dermis/subQ tissue to base of penis

(2a) STSG time

– measure length of penis shaft and determine circumference

– put mineral oil on L leg (if eschutcheonectomy done, determine if eschutcheonectomy skin is available for STSG)

– get STSG of leg/eschutch with above measured dimensions (i.e. 10cm long x 8cm circ)

– obtain by having assistant use towel clips to pull leg/eschutch skin straight and you use dermatome to enter skin at acute 45 degree angle, level out to about 10 degrees and then finish by rising 45 degrees upward

– if leg STSG, put epi-soaked telfa on donor site and cover with moist lap

(2b) Finishing touches on penis

– put skin graft around penis and secure with 3-0 simple interrupted chromic sutures in following fashion: epidermis and dermis then bucks/dartos fascia then skin graft in that order

– do this at base and at corona

– place 3-0 interrupted chromics to secure STSG to STSG by starting first at STSG, then bucks/dartos, then STSG

– make sure to leave enough room to squirt dilute fibrin glue/tisseal underneath STSG

– NOTE: must be slow diluted tisseal air delivery system so that STSG can be molded

– wrap lap pad around penis and then squeeze excess tisseal from graft site

(3) Closure/scrotoplasty

– place 10F JP drain first near L prepubic fat pad/skin

– place allis clamps to approximate skin closure; remove dog ears

– use 2-0 vicryl interrupted deep subcuticular sutures to reapproximate skin

– use 2-0 vicryl vertical mattress sutures to close skin

POSTOP immediate

1. STSG site

– remove episoaked telfa with saline then slowly remove to prevent bleeding

– put remaining tisseal on this site

– while still sterile, put TLS (tiny little sucker drain) onto STSG donor site by puncturing dermis on donor site and tunneling cephalad with 3-4cm of normal skin coverage before popping out

– place big opsite on STSG site

– attach adaptor for TLS drain and place vacutainer to suck out excess fluid

– place silk tape on edges of opsite to prevent early removal

2. penis

– put xeroform gauze (must be xeroform) around STSG of penis and then secure with kerlix and tape to pubis and scrote

3. scrotum/wound

– bacitracin and fluffs

– cut hole in party pants/jock strap for penis to protrude


– bedrest x 24-48 hrs w bathroom privileges

– d/c foley POD # 1

– STSG dressing to stay on as long as it will stay on; check TLS drain to see if new vacutainer is needed

– take down dressings tomorrow and de-bleb penis

– d/c home 3 days postop; d/c TLS and JP drains prior to d/c home and teach pt how to care for wounds

– Augmentin vs cipro x 10 days

– expect 10-20% wound opening–usually very mild (dress with non-meshed “soft” 4x4s, not the thick weave ones)

– may need to splint penis with STSG “out” as occasional pannus or remaing escutcheon can “rebury” penis

– pt should be seen q 1-2 weeks in clinic to assess wounds (i.e. if wound looks less good, see weekly with deblebbing of penis)

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