Penetrating Trauma to the Male External Genitalia

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We report on 40 patients with penetrating trauma to the external genitalia. Initial evaluation and management, operative findings, and treatment outcomes are reviewed.


We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients presenting to our facility with penetrating trauma to the external genitalia since 1988.


Of the 40 patients reviewed, 22 sustained isolated scrotal trauma, 10 sustained isolated penile trauma, and 8 had both scrotal and penile injuries. Twenty-nine of the 30 men with scrotal injuries underwent surgical exploration, and 21 of these were found to have injuries to the spermatic cord or testes (in 2 patients, bilateral injuries were noted). The testicular salvage rate was 35%. Penile trauma occurred in 18 patients. Eight corporal injuries and four urethral injuries were managed with debridement and primary repair. Erection and normal voiding was present in all men undergoing reconstruction who returned for follow-up. Thirty-eight percent of tested patients were positive for hepatitis B, C, or both. More than 60% of tested patients were legally intoxicated at the time of injury. Injuries separate from genitourinary trauma were identified in 72% of the men.


Early surgical exploration with conservative debridement and primary repair of injured structures is recommended for most men who sustain penetrating injuries to the external genitalia. Selected patients with superficial injuries can be managed nonoperatively, but delayed wound complications are not uncommon. Although universal precautions are recommended for all patients, the high prevalence of hepatitis B and C in this group reemphasizes their importance. Long-term follow-up in this largely young, mobile, indigent population was poor.

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