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25 From the above we pass to operations on the penis itself. And, if the glans is bare and the man wishes for the look of the thing to have it covered, that can be done; but more easily in a boy than in a man; in one in whom the defect is natural, than in one who after the custom of certain races has been circumcised; and in one who has the glans small and the adjacent skin rather ample, while the penis itself is shorter, rather than in one in whom the conditions are contrary. Now the treatment for those in whom the defect is natural is as follows. The prepuce around the glans is seized, stretched out until it actually covers the glans, and there tied. Next the skin covering the penis just in front of the pubes is cut through in a circle until the penis is bared, but great care is taken not to cut into the urethra, nor into the blood vessels there. This done the prepuce slides forwards towards the tie, and a sort of small ring is laid bare in front of the pubes, to which lint is applied in order that flesh may grow and fill it up. It is seen that a large enough part of the penis has been bared, if the skin is distended little or not at all, and if the breadth of the wound above supplies sufficient covering. But until the scar has formed it must remain tied, only a small passage being left in the middle for the urine. But in one who has been circumcised the prepuce is to be raised from the underlying penis around the circumference of the glans by means of a scalpel. This is not so[p. 423] very painful, for once the margin has been freed, it can be stripped up by hand as far back as the pubes, nor in so doing is there any bleeding. The prepuce thus freed is again stretched forwards beyond the glans; next cold water affusions are freely used, and a plaster is applied round to repress severe inflammation. And for the following days the patient is to fast until nearly overcome by hunger lest satiety excite that part. When the inflammation has ceased, the penis should be bandaged from the pubes to the corona; over the glans the plaster is applied with the other end of the probe. This is done in order that the lower part may agglutinate, whilst the upper part heals without adhering. On the other hand, if the glans has become so covered that it cannot be bared, a lesion which the Greeks call phimosis, it must be opened out, which is done as follows: underneath the foreskin is to be divided from its free margin in a straight line back as far as the frenum, and thus the skin above is relaxed and can be retracted. But if this is not successful, either on account of constriction or of hardness of the skin, a triangular piece of the foreskin is cut out from underneath, having its apex at the frenum, and its base at the edge of the prepuce. Then lint dressing and other medicaments to induce healing are put on. But it is necessary that the patient should lie up until the wound heals, for walking rubs the wound and makes it foul. Some have been accustomed to pin up the prepuce in adolescents either for the sake of the voice, or for health's sake. This is the method: the foreskin covering the glans is stretched forwards and[p. 425] the point for perforation marked on each side with ink. Then the foreskin is let go. If the marks are drawn back over the glans too much has been included, and the marks should be placed further forward. If the glans is clear of them, their position is suitable for the pinning. Then the foreskin is transfixed at the marks by a threaded needle, and the ends so this thread are knotted together. Each day the thread is moved until the edges of the perforations have cicatrized. When this is assured the thread is withdrawn and a fibula inserted, and the lighter this is the better. But this operation is more often superfluous than necessary.
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