Anatomy of the cutaneous surface of the male genitalia, with elaboration upon the inner preputial coronal-shaft junction

S. A. Naimer, K. Zega, W. F. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction Descriptions of the penile prepuce in anatomical and clinical texts either omit details or contain a small, yet potentially serious, error with regard to the manner of its attachment to the penis. Objective This study sought to cast light on a ubiquitous but poorly understood and under-appreciated structure, while correcting a long-standing mistake in the medical literature. Study design The foreskins of five male stillborn babies were dissected and carefully examined. Tissue from the apposing surfaces of the various regions of the inner and outer prepuce surfaces and the transition zone itself were collected, embedded in paraffin, sectioned, stained, examined and photographed under microscopy. Results Contradicting the prevailing descriptions in the literature that the inner prepuce is a single, uniform sheath, this study's observations and histological findings demonstrated that it actually splits into separate laminae that connect distally to the shaft at the base of the corona and proximally with the shaft fascia, respectively (Figure). Discussion The penile prepuce is a discrete and deceptively complex part of the male anatomy, yet key details of its interposing surfaces are inaccurately described or entirely omitted in the literature. Understanding the normal anatomy of the prepuce is critically relevant, particularly for urologists and others involved in the performance of circumcision. For example, avoiding potentially catastrophic avulsion of the inner preputial remnant beyond the coronal sulcus during circumcision and accurate assessment of tissue positioning prior to penile reconstruction in cases of hypospadias. Conclusion The findings of this study correct a misunderstanding in the anatomy of the prepuce.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53.e1-53.e5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Anatomy
  • Balano-preputial junction
  • Circumcision
  • Dissection
  • Neonate
  • Prepuce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology


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