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Penile length in adulthood after exstrophy reconstruction.

PURPOSE: We attempted to determine whether the penis in adulthood after exstrophy reconstruction is short because of a congenital defect in the size of the corpora cavernosa.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Pelvic magnetic resonance imaging was performed on 10 men who underwent exstrophy reconstruction in childhood, and 10 age and race matched controls. Measurements of penile and pelvic anatomy were compared.

RESULTS: The corpora cavernosa in men after exstrophy reconstruction were shorter than normal. Dividing total corporeal length into an anterior and posterior segment revealed that the anterior segment was short but the posterior segment attached to the pubic ramus was normal. However, the diameter of the posterior corporeal segment was greater than in controls. Although diastasis of the symphysis pubis increased the intersymphyseal and intercorporeal distances, the angle between the corpora cavernosa was unchanged, presumably because the corporeal bodies were separated in a parallel fashion.

CONCLUSIONS: After exstrophy reconstruction the penis is short in adulthood, at least partially due to a congenital deficiency of corporeal tissue. Since diastasis of the pubic symphysis and chordee decrease penile visibility, approximation of the pubic symphysis and procedures to straighten the penis may improve cosmesis. However, because the corpora cavernosa are short, after exstrophy reconstruction the penis will always be shorter than normal in adulthood.

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