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Indian J Pediatr. 2009 Aug;76(8):829-32. doi: 10.1007/s12098-009-0120-3. Epub 2009 Apr 16.

Preputial adhesions--a misunderstood entity.

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Department of Paediatric Surgery, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Johnnagara, Bangalore 560034, India.



To assess the trends and outcomes in referrals of 'phimosis for circumcision' to a tertiary care pediatric surgical department.


This is a prospective study of 100 consecutive children of presumed phimosis referred for circumcision. They were assessed and classified by the senior author as having either preputial adhesions or phimosis. The patients in the former group underwent outpatient preputial adhesiolysis while those in the latter group were offered circumcision primarily. All were followed up till resolution.


All 100 were referred with a non-retractile prepuce and an additional reason - preputial ballooning at voiding, dysuria or suspect UTI. Eight (mean age -58 months, referred for preputial ballooning at voiding -6/8 and dysuria -2/8) had phimosis and were primarily offered circumcision. The remaining 92 (mean age - 22 months, referred for preputial ballooning at voiding -52/92, dysuria -28/92 and suspect UTI -12/92) had preputial adhesions. In the latter group, none has a documented urinary infection on specific investigations. These 92 underwent outpatient preputial adhesiolysis. Seventy three (79 %) required a single sitting, 11 (12%) required 2 -4 sittings and 4(4.5%) required 5-8 sittings over a follow up period of 1 -24 months (median -3 weeks). 4/92(4.5%) were deemed non-responders to adhesiolysis and were circumcised later.


The majority of children referred with 'phimosis for circumcision' to this tertiary pediatric surgical centre were actually physiologic preputial adhesions that were managed with outpatient preputial adhesiolysis. This study underscores a lack of awareness amongst referring primary care physicians regarding preputial adhesions and the potential for an erroneous diagnosis of phimosis translating into unnecessary circumcisions in many young boys.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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