Frenulum Breve – What Is It?
The glans of the penis has something called a frenulum – a thin elastic band of skin – similar to that which is found under the tongue. It connects the underside of the head, or glans of the penis, to the penile shaft. Similar to the tongue, this section of tissue may be too short and thick. In the mouth this is called a tongue-tie, with the penis it is called a Frenulum Breve.
The penile frenulum functions to help the foreskin stay over the glans (head) of the penis and enables the foreskin to contract comfortably, as required. If it is too short, it may restrict movement and prevent the foreskin from retracting, which may or may not interfere with normal sexual activity. For some guys, a Frenulum Breve will cause a number of problems during an erection or sex, including:
- the glans of the penis will be restricted and pulled/curved downwards making the penis shorter;
- soreness or bruising; and
- repeated tears causing bleeding and pain.
Pain in the penis may be misdiagnosed and is often a psychological problem for guys so it’s important to have a good examination to ensure the correct diagnosis and treatment.
Because the frenulum is often removed during circumcision, it is much less common for circumcised men to suffer from this condition. Approximately 5% of uncircumcised men will suffer from Frenulum Breve, however, it is generally not necessary to have a circumcision to repair a short frenulum, as it is only the frenulum itself that needs to be released. In some cases, there may also be associated phimosis – narrowing of the opening of the foreskin, such that it cannot be retracted easily over the glans of the penis. In such circumstances, a circumcision combined with Frenuloplasty may be necessary.
Fortunately, a Frenulum Breve can be easily fixed with a procedure know as a Frenuloplasty, for most men. This is a quick and straight forward Doctor procedure that can be performed in-clinic, using local anesthetic, with a low risk profile. The incision will take a couple weeks to heal but patients can expect to experience an increased range of penile motion and pain free erections, making sexual intercourse more enjoyable.
The Frenuloplasty procedure is a 30-minute doctor procedure that can be performed using just a local anesthetic in the clinic. We can apply some numbing cream first (but most guys really don’t need it) then a small injection of local anesthetic. The tight band of skin is cut horizontally – sometimes for very thick bands a portion may need to be excised, or removed. The glans is rotated upwards and any tightness released. The skin is then closed using tiny dissolving stitches running lengthways along the frenulum to increase its length. Antibiotic ointment is applied; most men don’t need a dressing.
Yes, there will be a bit of discomfort on the day, but most patients can head home within an hour or two of the procedure and will be fully healed and back to normal within a couple weeks.
Post Care and Side Effects
As with all surgeries there is a need for post-care to optimize results such as keeping the treatment area clean and dry for a week, no sex or masturbation for a month and roll the foreskin back daily. There is also a chance for some side effects, which vary from person to person and are generally mild but may include swelling, bruising, tenderness or infection. This will all be explained during your consultation.
Where To Start?
Many men are traditionally reluctant to discuss health concerns with their doctors, even more so when it involves their intimate areas. Many men have issues with a tight frenulum, not realizing there is a simple cure. There’s no need to embarrassed and there’s no need to suffer from painful erections and intercourse with such a simple procedure available to correct this. CALIBRE Clinics currently offer the Frenuloplasty procedure at our Sydney and Perth clinics and it will soon also be available at our Melbourne clinic.
As with any surgery, it’s important that you feel confident and comfortable about the procedure; you’ll have the opportunity to speak to our doctors before the operation and ask any questions that you may have. They will also explain in detail what the procedure involves and what to expect. Make sure you also speak to your doctor after the treatment; you’ll be given post-operative care instructions and be told what to do in rare event of complications that need treatment.
If I Am Interested, What Now?
Your first step is an initial consultation with one of our specialist CALIBRE Doctors. You do not require a GPs referral for this consultation.
You may wish to speak with one of our Registered Nurses prior to seeing the Doctor. During this free confidential consultation, our Nurse can explain the procedure in more detail, answer your preliminary questions and assess suitability for the CALIBRE procedure.