Learning About Male Reconstructive Surgery

May 06,2022 |
Man talking to his doctor.

Male reconstructive surgery is a type of surgery that’s used to treat physical abnormalities. It can also be performed during a sex reassignment surgery from female-to-male anatomy. While it’s becoming increasingly popular for gender affirmation surgery, male reconstructive surgery is still an essential way to treat and manage various injuries—especially if they result in physiological or functional problems. For more information on this urologic procedure and how it can improve an individual’s quality of life, here’s everything you need to know about male reconstructive surgery.


What is Male Reconstructive Surgery?

As mentioned, male reconstructive surgery is a specific procedure where a urologist works to reconstruct or rebuild the male genitalia. This primarily involves the penis and surrounding areas. Other terms that may be used when referring to this surgery include male genitourinary reconstruction, penile reconstruction, female-to-male surgery, sex reassignment surgery, or gender affirmation surgery. The primary goal of undergoing male reconstructive surgery is to restore the ability to urinate or engage in sexual activity to individuals who have experienced trauma, injury, or illness that affected these activities. The surgery aims to restore the groin area to a functional state with normal appearance.


Reasons to Get Male Reconstructive Surgery

Several types of reconstructive surgeries are performed each year in both men and women. Male reconstructive surgery is done to restore the state of the area to the condition it was in before injury or illness. It may also be used for gender affirmation surgeries.

External Trauma

The male genitalia are a sensitive area and external trauma can lead to serious problems. If you experience any blunt-force trauma or injury to the pelvic region, your bladder, urethra, and prostate can be affected. This can lead to problems with scar tissue, bladder damage, prostate inflammation, or even urethral blockages. To repair the damage caused by external trauma, your urologist will likely recommend a certain degree of male reconstructive surgery. The type of procedure performed will depend on the location and severity of the damage.

Urethral Strictures

The urethra is a narrow tube that carries urine from your bladder, out of the body. Over time, injury or trauma can lead to internal scarring, which is known as urethral strictures. This scarring can cause narrowing of the urethra, which inevitably leads to problems with urine output. Urethral strictures can also be caused by sexually transmitted infections, long-term catheter use, prostate surgery, kidney stone removal, and more. Problems can worsen if the area becomes inflamed or there are nearby structures that put added pressure on the urethra. Male reconstructive surgery can help remove scar tissue, so the urethra is widened, and urinary functions are restored.

Prostatectomy Complications

A prostatectomy is a surgical procedure that’s performed on an individual with prostate cancer. During this treatment, a surgeon will attempt to remove all of the cancerous tissue to increase an individual’s chance of remission. This is a fairly routine surgery and can be done robotically, but there are still risks. Primarily, the risks of a prostatectomy include urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. If these complications occur, your doctor may recommend undergoing male reconstructive surgery to restore function and reverse the side effects of your prostatectomy.


Urinary incontinence refers to the involuntary loss of bladder. It’s a fairly common problem, but it can severely decrease an individual’s quality of life. Depending on the underlying reason behind your condition, male reconstructive surgery may help treat overflow or stress incontinence. During the procedure, your surgeon will manipulate the urethra so that it has a more effective shape and is properly supported. Nerve stimulation may also be added to help with long-term bladder control. This is a fairly common reason behind undergoing reconstructive surgery, but lifestyle changes and other management options should be tried first.

Enlarged Prostate

If the prostate gland is growing too large and causing problems, surgeons can perform a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). This removes a portion of the gland to help alleviate bothersome symptoms and reduce discomfort or urinary problems.

Gender Affirmation

Another increasingly popular reason for male reconstructive surgery is gender affirmation. This is a procedure undergone by a transgender individual in order to alter their physical sexual characteristics to match their gender identity. For ongoing success with this surgery, individuals will also need to receive testosterone replacement therapy. This transition is most successful when performed by a qualified doctor and when the individuals follow pre and post-op instructions carefully. The entire transition, including the effects of hormone therapy, can take up to five years or longer.

Always discuss your options with your doctor to determine the best course of action. During this time, it’s important to be transparent and to address any underlying conditions prior to surgery, otherwise it may need to be repeated and thus, could decrease results over time. While male reconstructive surgery can also address congenital defects, it’s best to wait until your child has developed to address these as studies suggest performing them at birth or soon after can lead to psychological damage.


Male Reconstructive Surgery Benefits

The primary benefits of male reconstructive surgery are the restoration of functions previously lost. Thanks to innovative technology and skilled surgeons, the success rate of this procedure is high. In fact, most men notice an increase in physical sensation and the ability to perform sexual activity. These results are one of the reasons that male reconstructive surgery is becoming increasingly popular. However, you should always make sure that you work with a urologist who is experienced in performing this type of surgery. This will help you maximize your results and increase the likelihood of regaining the full use of your penis and other reproductive structures. While the goal is to restore as much function as possible, you should be realistic about expectations and discuss any risks or complications with your urologist ahead of time.


Different Types of Reconstructive Procedures

There are different types of reconstructive procedures performed, which are specific to the underlying reason for the surgery. Your doctor will work with you to cover all of your options, risks, potential complications, and post-op treatment plans to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding prior to undergoing surgery. Some of the most common types of reconstructive procedures include the following:

Bladder Control Procedures

There are several bladder control procedures that can help reduce the occurrence of incontinence, treat overactive bladder, and improve urinary retention. Some of the most popular options include InterStim®, nerve rerouting, and the insertion of artificial urinary sphincters (AUS). InterStim ® is a type of sacral nerve stimulation that helps stimulate and control the bladder. Nerve rerouting focuses on redirecting certain neural pathways to improve control of urination. AUS placement helps reduce urinary leakage caused by stress incontinence.

Urethral Reconstructive Surgery

If your issues are stemming from the urethra, your urologist will likely recommend undergoing one of the following surgeries: urethroplasty, Mitrofanoff procedure, ileal conduit formation, ileal neobladder, Indiana pouch, or a ureteral reimplantation. All of these surgeries aim to mitigate problems associated with strictures or urethral damage.

Sexual Dysfunction Surgery

There are several different types of surgeries that can be performed to repair sexual dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can be treated with penile prostheses surgery. During this procedure, a malleable rod or inflatable implant is surgically inserted into the shaft of the penis to help individuals maintain an erection. Surgery is also available to individuals who experience Peyronie’s disease—the development of a lump on the penis due to injury during sex or other activities. There are three surgeries available to address Peyronie’s disease, which include penile plication procedures, penile prothesis surgery, and plaque incision/excision and grafting.

Gender Affirmation Surgery

Finally, for individuals looking to undergo gender affirmation, three surgeries are typically used for male reconstruction. These include a metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and a scrotoplasty. A metoidioplasty is a specific method of constructing a new penis or a neopenis. A phalloplasty uses grafted skin to form a neopenis, and a scrotoplasty is a procedure that hollows and repositions the labia majora to form a scrotum. Testicular implants may be inserted during this procedure.

If you’re experiencing a urological problem or have recently undergone male reconstructive surgery, using the proper products and supplies can help reduce embarrassing symptoms, alleviate discomfort, and aid in the healing process. Byram Healthcare offers a wide range of urology supplies such as catheters and incontinence care to provide a customized approach to treating urological conditions. Browse our products today and have them discreetly delivered at your door—most orders ship within 2-3 days.

Byram Healthcare is a member of the National Association for Continence’s Trusted Partners Program, whose mission is to provide quality continence care through education, collaboration and advocacy. We continue to build partnerships in the clinical community to ensure we focus on what’s best for the patient.