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What is congenital penile curvature?

Congenital penile curvature, also known as “chordee,” is a condition that is present at a boy's birth. The penis typically bends down. Parents may notice it early in their childhood during diapering, but some boys don’t know until after they have gone through puberty and noticed it themselves. The curvature is usually noticed only with erection.

Is a curved penis normal?

A slight degree of curving is seen in a normal penis. In many cases, the penis can curve to the left or right when it is erect and cause pain, and difficulty from having intercourse.

What are the symptoms of congenital penile curvature?

The symptoms of chordee are a sharp curve of the penis, the curve may start anywhere from the base of the penis near the testicles to the beginning of the glans.

Other possible symptoms of this condition are:

  • It is recognized in early adulthood or puberty.
  • The urinary opening may be on the underside of the penis(hypospadias).

What Causes congenital penile curvature (chordee)?

Doctors are not very sure what causes the tissues to stop developing. Genetics might be a reason too.

  • The cause of congenital penile curvature is unknown but thought to be related to unequal growth of the erectile chambers on two opposite sites.
  • One of the reasons for chordee could be when the penis stops growing while the fetus is developing during pregnancy, which means the tissues that eventually become penis are normally curved during the 10th week of pregnancy have stopped developing and remained curved.

How is congenital penile curvature diagnosed?

Chordee is congenital. The doctor can diagnose chordee by looking for the symptoms on the penis when the child is born.

The doctor uses a saline solution to make the child's penis firm to check the curve. If it curves more than 30 degrees then chordee surgery is suggested.

To check the overall health of the child, urine and blood tests are done.

How is congenital penile curvature treated?

The doctor will discuss the benefits and risks involved before the surgery.

The ideal time for this surgery is before two years of age. The treatment includes straightening your child's penis and making sure that the urethral opening is at the tip of the penis. To perform this procedure, the doctor will:

  • Give anesthesia to the child to stay asleep during the surgery.
  • Remove the extra tissue that causes the curve. Use the tissue to make the penis straight and ensure the same length on all sides.
  • Extend the urethra to the tip of the penis. Stitch the openings and wrap in a surgical dressing to keep it straight and decrease swelling.
  • The penis is filled with a saline solution to check if it is straight after the surgery.
  • A catheter is attached to drain the urine for the first few days until it is healed. Chordee repair is most successful in childhood.

If chordee is not diagnosed until adulthood, surgery can still be effective. Some may need to have additional surgery to achieve a final repair of the chordee. The surgery will make the penis growth and development normal.


Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Address: Rao Saheb, Achutrao Patwardhan Marg, Four Bungalows, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400053

Phone: +91-98 88 66 22 00

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