Paraphimosis happens when the foreskin is pulled back behind the tip of the penis and it becomes stuck there only. The skin which is retracted becomes swollen which cause the fluid to build up and because of this, the foreskin is not able to return to the original position.
Paraphimosis can’t be confused with phimosis, which happens when the foreskin cannot be pulled back from the tip of the penis. Basically, this occurs in younger children and is a serious condition. Paraphimosis is painful and is a medical emergency which needs to be treated. If it’s ignored, it will affect the blood flow to the tip of the penis.
Paraphimosis can be caused because of the following conditions:
- Foreskin which is left retracted for long duration for swelling to occur. This can happen during the medical examination after urination.
- A tight foreskin which is retracted cause the penis to swell. This will result in the foreskin not able to move back to the natural position.
- Penile piercing, vigorous sexual activity can enhance erection with the help of compression.
- Infection because of various factors, which include poor personal hygiene
- Scarring which is caused by the repeated infection of the foreskin in young boys
- Swelling of the penis and foreskin due to insect
- Diabetes can be a reason for older men, which cause inflammation of the foreskin which makes paraphimosis more likely.
- Catheterization which is done without the foreskin being returned to the natural position.
Paraphimosis which is characterized by these following:
- Swelling at the end of the penis
- Pain and discomfort
- Not able to pull the retracted foreskin back over the head of the penis
- Inability to urinate
- Black tissue on the end of the penis
The doctor will apply the pressure to the swollen penis for around 10-20 minutes, with the help of saline swab. You can also use ice. The treatments can compress the swelling, therefore it gets easier to push the penis while pulling your foreskin back into place. If manual manipulation is unsuccessful, then a puncture technique can be required. This treatment usually requires some form of anesthesia. A needle will be used to puncture the foreskin in various places. This will allow the built-up fluid to get released and the manipulation of the foreskin of the penis would get easier. In severe cases, it might require a small incision in the foreskin which will relieve the restriction and it will allow the swelling to recede. In some cases, circumcision will be required.
Cleanliness will help to prevent the paraphimosis. It is recommended to clean under a retractable foreskin properly. The foreskin should be returned to the natural position after cleaning. Circumcision when done correctly, it prevents phimosis from occurring.
The physical examination is enough for the doctor to confirm the diagnosis of the paraphimosis. It’s basically easy to see a tight band of the foreskin which is trapped behind the head of the penis. In some cases, the foreskin band is hidden by the surrounding tissue. In the diagnosis, the person will be asked some questions to know the background information, which will include symptoms, activities which are related to the penis. There is no need for any additional tests to confirm the diagnosis. During the diagnosis process, a swab is taken to locate the type of infection which cause the paraphimosis.
Complications of the paraphimosis are secondary conditions and disorders which are caused by it. In some of the cases or paraphimosis is untreated, the following complications can occur:
- Loss of blood flow
- Loss of the penis tip
The output is excellent if the problem is diagnosed on time. Small bleeding can occur as the skin is retracted but long-term negative effects are rare. Recurrence of the paraphimosis can be common. Circumcision is able to prevent the reoccurrence once the swelling is reduced. If paraphimosis is left untreated then there could be serious damage such as loss of blood flow and the potential loss of the tip of the penis.
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