Frenulum is a medical term for a band of connective tissue that connects one anatomical structure, or part of a structure, to another. You have a frenulum at the base of your tongue that attaches your tongue to the bottom or your mouth; you have another one above your top row of teeth that connects your upper lip to your upper gum. Men also have a frenulum that connects the foreskin, or prepuce, to the head of the penis (the glans) and the shaft.
Normally, the frenulum is long enough to enable the foreskin to retract normally when the penis becomes erect; but sometimes, the frenulum is short, resulting in a condition called frenulum breve. A short frenulum can result in pain and even bleeding during erection and intercourse, and in some cases, the frenulum may rupture and tear during sex. Many men with frenulum breve develop curvature when the frenulum exerts continual pressure on the glans.
Correcting frenulum breve can be achieved with one of two procedures: frenectomy (sometimes called frenulotomy or frenulectomy) and frenuloplasty, and both procedures can be combined with a circumcision if desired.
What is frenectomy?
A frenectomy or frenulectomy involves cutting the frenulum to release the tension on the glans and shaft. The focus of a frenectomy is on function rather than aesthetics.
What is frenuloplasty?
A frenuloplasty also involves cutting the frenulum as well as remodeling the skin in the local area to provide a more aesthetically pleasing result.
How are frenectomy and frenuloplasty performed?
In most cases, both procedures are performed using local anesthetics to numb the area prior to incision. Sedation may also be used to calm anxiety and promote a more relaxed state. Most procedures take from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, and there is very little discomfort following the procedure. Many men return to work the following day; if your job requires significant physical activity, you may want to take an extra day or two off to recover. You’ll also need to avoid sex for about three weeks and limit some other activities like cycling for about two weeks.
With or without circumcision
Both frenectomy and frenuloplasty can be performed in combination with a circumcision, and they may also be performed on men who are uncircumcised. When a circumcision is performed along with a frenectomy or frenuloplasty, the surgical and recovery times are typically slightly extended.
Correcting frenulum breve is a simple procedure when performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon. If you’ve been experiencing the symptoms of frenulum breve, including curvature or pain during intercourse or erection, call (310)559-8000 to schedule an evaluation today and learn about all your treatment options.