Nerve-sparing circumcision: Myth or reality?

Cakici O. U. , Pulular A. G. , Canakli F.

Journal of Pediatric Urology, vol.17, no.2, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2020.11.040
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Pediatric Urology


© 2020 Journal of Pediatric Urology CompanyBackground: Circumcision is a common procedure. Recently, tissue-sparing approaches have become a matter of interest, and a nerve-sparing approach is described in adults. Although circumcision is common in the practice, the nerve-sparing approach has not been evaluated in the pediatric age group. Objective: To give a contemporary evaluation of the preputium histology, challenge the phenomenon of a genuine nerve-sparing approach, and report the results of a prospective cohort contrasting the tissue-sparing fine dissection technique to the regular sleeve circumcision in the pediatric age group. Study design: A total of 20 healthy children between 7 and 12 years of age were enrolled in the study. All circumcisions were carried out for religious purposes, and children with any anatomical anomaly, skin lesions, or Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans were not included in the study. The first 10 children underwent regular sleeve circumcision, while the latter 10 children underwent tissue-sparing fine dissection modification of the sleeve technique. All materials obtained from the circumcision were examined by a single pathologist, and relevant tissue structures were counted and compared between the groups. Results: Both techniques were satisfactory in terms of final cosmetic results, without significant complications, such as bleeding, massive edema, iatrogenic chordee, or unacceptable cosmetics. None of the children required readmission or medical intervention other than analgesics and topical moisturizing creams. Preservation of all nervous system structures, including the receptors, appeared to be not possible with macroscopic dissection techniques due to micrometer scale depth of the touch receptors. Nerve trunks were also located in less than 1-mm depth. The tissue-sparing technique could preserve significantly more vascular structures, nerve trunks, and Pacinian Corpuscles, which can be a matter of further long-term research. Conclusion: We propose the term “tissue-sparing” instead of “nerve-sparing” for the available techniques. The tissue-sparing technique did not affect the clinical outcomes and the postoperative course in our study. However, it showed to be superior in terms of preserving the vascular structures, nerve trunks, and Pacinian Corpuscles.[Formula presented]