Clinical outcomes of glansectomy with split-thickness skin graft reconstruction for localized penile cancer


  • Ben B. Beech
  • David W. Chapman
  • Keith F. Rourke University of Alberta



Penile Cancer; Organ Sparing Surgery; Glansectomy; Reconstruction


Introduction: Penectomy as the traditional surgical treatment of penile cancer has substantial adverse functional and psychological impact. Glansectomy with split-thickness skin graft (STSG) reconstruction aims to provide curative resection while maximizing functional outcomes and minimizing psychological harm. We describe our outcomes of glansectomy with STSG reconstruction for penile cancer in a Canadian setting.

Methods: We identified patients undergoing glansectomy with STSG genital reconstruction for squamous cell carcinoma of the penis from July 2006 to July 2019 at a single center. Patients undergoing glansectomy for reasons other than penile cancer were excluded. We collected clinical and pathological data, including patient demographics, 90-day complications, positive margin rate, local recurrence rate, disease-specific survival, and functional outcomes. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize our cohort and to examine outcomes.

Results: Twelve men met study criteria with a median age of 62 years. Seven patients had failed prior treatment. The 90-day complication rate (Clavien >2) was 0% and graft take was excellent in all cases. The positive margins rate was 16.7% (n=2). Local recurrence occurred in two patients (16.7%), one of whom underwent a repeat organ-sparing surgery for salvage, while the other underwent radical penectomy for high-risk pathological features. Disease-free survival at a median followup of 14 months was 91.7% (11/12). Standing voiding and erectile function, as well as satisfactory cosmesis, were preserved in all patients.

Conclusions: Glansectomy with STSG reconstruction is a safe and effective treatment for men with localized penile cancer with simultaneous preservation of cosmesis, as well as urinary and sexual function.


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Author Biography

Keith F. Rourke, University of Alberta

Associate Professor,

Division of Urology,

Department of Surgery,

University of Alberta



How to Cite

Beech, B. B. ., Chapman, D. W. ., & Rourke, K. F. (2020). Clinical outcomes of glansectomy with split-thickness skin graft reconstruction for localized penile cancer. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 14(10), E482–6.



Original Research