Penile Cancer Surgery

There are several different types of penile cancer surgery. The wide variety of available techniques makes it possible for surgeons to recommend an option that will remove as many cancerous cells as possible, while obtaining the best outcomes in terms of function and aesthetic appearance.

The most common forms of penile cancer surgery include:

  • Laser surgery, in which light beams are used in place of a knife to cut away cancerous tissue. This is one of the most common types of penile cancer surgery, as it can remove surface tumors with minimal damage to the underlying healthy tissue.

  • Cryotherapy, in which liquid nitrogen is applied to a tumor to freeze and destroy the cancerous cells. This can cause the skin to temporarily blister or scab over for a few days. A small amount of pale scar tissue may develop at the site of the treatment.

  • Mohs micrographic surgery, or MMS. This procedure is designed to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. One layer of skin is removed at a time. Each layer is tested for the presence of cancer, and once a sample comes back cancer-free, the procedure is complete.

  • Circumcision, or surgical removal of the foreskin. This operation may be recommended if the cancer is limited to this part of the penis.

  • A wide local excision, or a traditional surgery used to remove the cancer and a small amount of healthy tissue around the sides of the lesion.

  • A glansectomy, or removal of the head of the penis. This procedure also involves a skin graft to reconstruct the removed anatomy. Urination and sexual function are often retained after the procedure.

  • A penectomy, or removal of part or all of the penis. This type of penile cancer surgery is typically only necessary if the cancer has spread deep into the organ’s tissue.

  • A lymphadenectomy, or the surgical removal of the lymph nodes in the groin. This is usually performed at the same time as one of the other penile cancer surgery techniques, with the goal of removing any lymph nodes to which the cancer might have spread.

The surgeons at Moffitt Cancer Center have extensive experience with all forms of penile cancer surgery, including complex Mohs surgeries and penile reconstructions. Referrals are not required to consult with experts at Moffitt. To learn more about your surgical options, call 1-888-MOFFITT or submit a new patient registration form online.