Dorsal Slit

What is a dorsal slit?

A dorsal slit is a single incision along the upper length of the foreskin from the tip to the corona, exposing the glans without removing any tissue.

A general anaesthetic is usually given for this procedure, but other forms of anaesthesia are available if indicated. A local anaesthetic nerve block is usually used at the time of the procedure to help with post-operative pain relief. After removal of the foreskin, fine sutures are used to join the edges of skin together just below the head of the penis (glans).

A dorsal slit is usually a day procedure which means that an overnight stay is not required.

Preparing for your procedure

We will provide you with instructions regarding all aspects of preparing for your operation.

  • Pre-operative blood and urine tests
  • Details of admission to hospital
  • Information regarding fasting and medications

What to expect afterwards

In recovery, staff will make sure you are comfortable. Pain relief will be offered and given if required, and you will be offered something to eat and drink. There will be a light dressing over the penis. Once you are awake, comfortable and have passed urine you are then able to go home. A script for pain relief will be given to you.


This is a safe operation, however you should be aware of the potential risks;

  • Infection <5%
  • Bleeding / haematoma <5%
  • You may notice some bruising at the operation site but significant bleeding is very uncommon.
  • Any other sort of complication such as an injury to the urethra would be extremely rare.

After discharge from hospital

Please take things quietly for the first 24 hours after surgery. The dressing can be removed the following day. This can be done in the shower. You can wash the wound area as soon as the dressing has been removed. Soap and tap water are entirely adequate. Salted water is not necessary. You can shower or take a bath as often as you want. Wear a pad to keep your underpants clean.

There may be some purple bruising around the wound which spreads downwards by gravity and fades to a yellow colour after two or three days. This is expected and you should not worry about it.

There may also be some swelling of the surrounding skin which also improves in two to three days. After seven to ten days crusts on the wound will drop off.

The stitches take 2-3 weeks to dissolve. You may see a scab form at the wound site. This will gradually fall off. You should wait until the sutures dissolve before recommencing sexual activity. A condom may help with comfort when resuming sexual activity.


You should not drive for 24 hours after having sedation / general anaesthetic (or as instructed by your Urologist).

Patients who are travelling outside the metropolitan area are required to check when they are able to travel, and will be required to stay in the metropolitan area for 24 hours (or as instructed by your Urologist).

Emergency Contacts

In the event of an emergency, call our office within business hours and speak to our Practice Nurse. If out of hours, please call our office to contact our On-Call Urologist, or present to your nearest Emergency Department.

Ashford Hospital
55 Anzac Highway, Ashford SA 5035
8375 5205
Until 10:00 PM

Flinders Medical Centre (access to Flinders Private Hospital)
Flinders Drive, Bedford Park SA 5042
8204 5511
24 Hours

Calvary Adelaide Hospital
120 Angus Street, Adelaide SA 5000
8227 7027
24 Hours Royal

Darwin Hospital
Rocklands Drive, Tiwi NT 0810
8922 8888
24 Hours

**For patients outside the Metropolitan area, please present to your nearest hospital emergency department.

Follow Up

A follow up appointment will be planned for about 4-6 weeks post-operatively.

If you have any concerns after your procedure, please contact our office and speak to one of our practice nurses.

The content provided within this document is intended as a guide only and does not apply to all patients. Additional information, including patient specific potential risks, must be obtained during consultation with your Urologist.