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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2011 Sep;93(6):482-4. doi: 10.1308/003588411X587145.

Management of boys with abnormal appearance of meatus at circumcision for balanitis xerotica obliterans.

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Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich, UK.



The aim of this study was to develop a standardised management plan for boys with abnormal appearance of meatus at circumcision for balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO).


Between 1995 and 2008, 107 boys underwent circumcision for BXO (confirmed on histology). Of these, 23 had abnormal appearance of the meatus at operation; their case notes were reviewed for age, presenting symptoms, management, outcome and follow up.


The age range at operation was 3-15 years (mean: 9 years). Patients commonly presented with phimosis and balanitis. Seven patients had an additional procedure at circumcision: six had meatotomy, one had meatal dilatation. Thirteen were treated with topical steroid cream post-operatively. Eight of these (62%) subsequently required meatotomy. Three patients were observed and did not require further intervention. Meatotomy was required in 9 patients, 6-29 months after circumcision (mean: 11 months). Two patients required dilatation, including one with a previous intraoperative meatotomy, who required multiple dilatations.


We propose the following standardised management plan: 1. With clinical evidence of BXO at circumcision, prepuce should be sent for histology. 2. If BXO is confirmed but the meatus appears normal, patients should be seen once post-operatively to give information about meatal stenosis. 3. When the meatus appears scarred with a narrowed lumen at operation, a meatotomy should be performed, with follow up for at least two years. 4. If the lumen is scarred but adequate, patients should be followed up in clinic for the same period for possible development of stenosis. 5. Topical steroid cream can be considered for voiding discomfort without decreased urine stream.

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