Product Summary: AMA rates

Biopsy of penile skin / lesion to confirm or exclude penile cancer

Item Number: 30071, 18262, 105

Why is it done?

  • To confirm/ exclude the presence of malignancy
  • To find the best effective treatment option for this lesion


  • An informed consent is required from the patient.
  • This can be done under a local or general anaesthetic.
  • If done under a GA, patients may not eat or drink from midnight the previous evening.
  • Patients are to refrain from smoking before the procedure.
  • Patients allergic to IODINE / CHLORHEXIDINE should clearly state this at the Pre-admission clinic as well as to theatre staff and Dr Schoeman.
  • Any anti-coagulants such as Warfarin or Aspirin must be stopped 7 days prior to surgery. Clexane injections may be substituted.

How is it done?

  • This procedure is done under local or general anaesthetic.
  • Supine position.
  • The Foreskin may be the only affected area and therefore a circumcision is done.
  • Otherwise the affected area is exposed and cleaned.
  • If it is a large area, a wedge resection of an area close to normal skin is done.
  • Otherwise a complete excision biopsy is done.
  • Hemostatic sutures are placed.
  • Hemostatic dressings are placed
  • Specimen is sent to a histo-pathologist.
  • A in catheter may be inserted if the biopsy area involves the meatus of your urethra.
  • A dressing is then applied, which should be removed after 72 hours.
  • A local anaesthetic is injected at the base of the penis as a penile block thus giving post-operative pain relief for the next 4-6 hours.

What to expect after the procedure?

  • Any anaesthetic has its risks and the anaesthetist will explain such risks.
  • Bleeding is a common complication.
  • A haematoma (blood collection under the skin). Bruising is normal.
  • Sutures may tear loose with vigorous use of erect penis, and the procedure may then require revision.
  • An infection of the wound may occur and requires immediate attention.
  • DANGER SIGNS: A wound that swells immediately, fever, and puss. Contact Dr Schoeman or the hospital immediately as this occurs in up to 15–20% of all cases.

What next?

  • Dressings should be kept dry for the initial 72 hours after surgery and soaked off in a bath thereafter.
  • The dressing may sometimes adhere to the wound causing slight bleeding on removal. Don’t panic, the bleeding will stop.
  • The catheter will be removed as soon as you are awake, or if there are concerns, the following morning.
  • On discharge, a prescription may be issued for patients to collect.
  • Patients should schedule a follow-up appointment with Dr Schoeman 2 weeks after the procedure.
  • There will be signs of bruising for at least 10 days.
  • Refrain from using your erect penis for 3-4 weeks.
  • The suture-line will be hard and indurated for at least 8-10 weeks.
  • Sick leave will be granted for 10 days.
  • Please direct all further queries to Dr Schoeman’s rooms.

Download Information Sheet

Penile Biopsy