by Carmack A


A meatotomy is a procedure to widen the opening of the urethra. The urethra is a tube that carries urine from the bladder to the opening at the tip of the penis.

Reasons for Procedure

Meatotomy is done to improve the flow of urine through the tip of the penis. It is done if the opening of the penis is too small. This condition is called meatal stenosis.

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your child’s doctor will go over some possible problems such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Problems with the urine stream
  • More surgery

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

Leading up to the procedure:

  • Talk to your child’s doctor about the medicines they take. You may be asked to stop giving them up to 1 week in advance.
  • Do not let your child eat or drink anything at least 6 hours before the procedure.


Local anesthesia will numb the area. Your child will be awake.

Description of the Procedure

A small cut is made in the opening of the urethra. This will make the opening wider. A cream is placed on the cut. The cut is covered with a bandage for up to 1 hour.

How Long Will It Take?

Less than 30 minutes

Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia will numb the area during the procedure. Your child may have some discomfort after. Medicine will ease pain.

Post-procedure Care

At the Care Center

The care team will give your child pain medicine. They will be able to go home after the procedure if there are no problems.

At Home

Most can return to normal activity on the same day.

Call Your Child’s Doctor

Call your child’s doctor if any of these occur:

  • Signs of infection such as fever or chills
  • Excess bleeding, swelling, or drainage from the cut
  • Pain that is not helped by medicine
  • Lasting problems passing urine

If you think your child has an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.


Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians 

Urology Care Foundation 


Health Canada  

The College of Family Physicians of Canada 


Common benign urologic conditions in men. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Accessed May11, 2020.

Fronczak CM, Villanueva CA. Clinic meatotomy under topical anesthesia. J Pediatr Urol. 2017;13(5):499.

Meatal stenosis. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia website. Available at: Accessed May11, 2020.

Meatal stenosis. Urology Associates of Colorado website. Available at: Accessed May11, 2020.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
  • Review Date: 05/2020
  • Update Date: 05/11/2020