Penile Cancer Surgery

  • Khurshid Guru, MD, Director, Center for Robotic Surgery, is one of the experienced surgeons at RPCI who treat patients with penile cancer.

Surgery is the most common treatment for cancer of the penis in all stages. To remove the cancer, multiple surgical options may be considered:

  • Mohs Surgery: A surgical procedure to remove a visible lesion on the skin in several steps. First, a thin layer of cancerous tissue is removed. A second thin layer of tissue is removed and viewed under a microscope to check for cancer cells. More layers are removed one at a time until the tissue viewed under a microscope shows no remaining cancer. This type of surgery is used to remove as little normal tissue as possible. This approach is only used for early stage cancers confined to the penile skin with little or no invasion into the deeper tissue.
  • Laser Surgery: A surgical procedure that uses a laser beam (a narrow beam of intense light) as a knife to make bloodless cuts in tissue or to remove a surface lesion such as a tumor. This approach is only used for early stage cancers confined to the penile skin with little or no invasion into the deeper tissue.
  • Cryosurgery (cryotherapy): A treatment that uses an instrument to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue. This approach is only used for early stage cancers confined to the penile skin with little or no invasion into the deeper tissue.
  • Circumcision: Surgery to remove part or all of the foreskin of the penis. This approach is used with early stage penile cancers occurring in the penile foreskin.
  • Wide Local Excision: Surgery to remove only the cancer and some normal tissue around it. This approach is only used for early stage cancers confined to the penile skin with little or no invasion into the deeper tissue.
  • Partial Penectomy: Surgery to remove the part of the penis where cancer has spread. Plastic surgery may be done to rebuild the penis.
  • Radical Penectomy: Surgery to remove the entire penis. Plastic surgery may be done to rebuild the penis.
  • Lymph Node Dissection: Removal of the nodes in the groin to determine the cancer’s potential to spread.

Reconstructive Surgery

If the penis or part of the penis is removed during surgery, reconstruction of the penis may be a possibility. Talk to your physician about the options available to you.