Paraphimosis occurs when the foreskin of an uncircumcised male cannot be pulled back over the head of the penis.
Causes of paraphimosis include:
Uncircumcised males, and those who may not have been correctly or completely circumcised, are at risk.
Paraphimosis occurs most often in children and the elderly.
The foreskin is pulled back (retracted) behind the rounded tip of the penis (glans) and stays there. The retracted foreskin and glans become swollen. This makes it difficult to return the foreskin to its extended position.
A physical examination confirms the diagnosis. The health care provider will usually find a "doughnut" around the shaft near the head of the penis (glans).
Pressing on (compression of) the head of the penis while pushing the foreskin forward may reduce the swelling due to paraphimosis. If this fails, prompt surgical circumcision will be needed.
The outcome is likely to be excellent if the condition is diagnosed and treated quickly.
If paraphimosis is left untreated, it can disrupt blood flow to the tip of the penis. In extreme (and rare) cases, this may lead to:
Go to your local emergency room if this occurs.
Circumcision, when done correctly, prevents this condition.
McCollough M, Sharieff GQ. Genitourinary and renal tract disorders. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2009:chap 172.
Silverman MA, Schneider RE. Urologic procedures. In: Roberts JR, Hedges JR, eds. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2009:chap 55.
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