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What is paraphimosis?

What is paraphimosis?

Paraphimosis is a male reproductive condition that requires immediate medical attention. In this condition, the foreskin gets trapped behind the head of the penis and doesn’t retract. If not treated in time, this condition can cut off the circulation to the tip of the penis and cause permanent damage. This condition affects males who are partially circumcised or completely uncircumcised.

How does paraphimosis occur?

How does paraphimosis occur?

Paraphimosis is a severe condition that can occur and is considered a medical emergency. The reasons behind its occurrence are manifold and differ from person to person. In most cases, paraphimosis occurs due to the following reasons:

  • Pulling back the foreskin for cleaning, urinating or having sex & leaving it retracted for a long time.
  • Pulling the foreskin back for a physical examination by a doctor.
  • Injury in the area
  • Circumcision
  • Infection
  • Diabetes, etc.

Causes

  • Infection
  • Physical trauma to the genital area
  • Tight foreskin
  • Pulling foreskin back forcefully
  • Leaving foreskin pulled for an extended period

Symptoms of paraphimosis

  • Inability pulling foreskin back
  • Discomfort and pain
  • Swelling at the end of the penis
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Trouble urinating

Diagnosis

Paraphimosis diagnosis does not involve elaborate tests. The doctor can diagnose the condition by performing a physical exam. In a physical exam, the doctor will inspect your penis. Additionally, he would also ask you questions about the symptoms you’re experiencing or other discomforts.

Risks & Complications

Paraphimosis can lead to some serious complications if left untreated. Therefore, getting timely treatment is always recommended. This condition can restrict blood flow to the penis, depriving its tissues of oxygen. This can lead to serious complications, including:

  • A severe infection
  • Damage to the tip of the penis
  • Gangrene, or tissue death, resulting in the loss of the tip of the penis

  • Preventing Paraphimosis

    Paraphimosis occurs in uncircumcised men and can be quite discomforting. Therefore, the best way of preventing this condition is to get a circumcision. Some other ways of preventing this condition from occurring are:

    • Place the foreskin back over the top of the penis after retracting it for cleaning, having sex, or other reasons
    • Maintain good hygiene and keep the tip of the penis clean. 
    • Avoid leaving the foreskin behind the tip of the penis for too long

When to consult a doctor for paraphimosis treatment?

Paraphimosis is an emergency condition, and the patient must seek medical intervention immediately after suspecting the condition. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience the following:

  • Excruciating pain and discomfort
  • Inability to pull the foreskin back
  • Redness and swelling at the end of the penis
  • Tenderness in the penis
  • Trouble urinating

Questions to ask your doctor.

How long will it take for the swelling to subside?
Does paraphimosis always require surgery?
How long do I have to wait before having sex after treatment?
What will happen if I leave paraphimosis untreated?
Can paraphimosis affect my sex life?

Treatment

Surgical intervention becomes necessary in complex cases of Paraphimosis. The only surgical treatment available for Paraphimosis is circumcision i.e., the removal of the foreskin from the tip of the penis. Removing the foreskin not only helps in calming the symptoms of Paraphimosis, but also prevents the condition from recurring. Circumcision surgery is of three types:

  • Open circumcision surgery: This is the conventional surgery for circumcision. It involves sedating the patient with local or general anesthesia. Once the patient is sedated the surgeons measure the foreskin to be removed by retracting it from the grains, and placing it back to the shaft. They then use a scalpel to extract the skin. Finally, the skin is cauterized or stitched back to the shaft with dissolvable sutures.
  • Laser circumcision surgery: This is a minimally-invasive method of circumcision, which only takes about 20 minutes. It does not require stitches, causes no blood loss, and the patient can go back the same day. In this procedure, a high-beam laser is used to cut the foreskin and remove it. This procedure is also performed under anesthesia.
  • Stapler circumcision surgery: In this advanced and minimally-invasive method of circumcision, the surgeon uses a surgical stapler to extract the skin and close its edges. This procedure is performed under general or local anesthesia and causes no pain to the patient. Additionally, the patient doesn’t have to worry about wounds or scars after surgery.

Insurance coverage

Urologists suggest circumcision in paraphimosis cases when other methods fail to offer relief. Therefore, such cases of paraphimosis are considered medical emergencies that require circumcision. Therefore, circumcision surgery is covered under insurance. At Pristyn Care, we have a dedicated insurance team that will assist you throughout the claim process and helps you have a seamless experience. To know more about insurance coverage, you can contact your policy providers or Pristyn Care’s medical coordinators.

Video testimonial - by patient

Video on the disease and treatment - by Pristyn Care doctor

FAQ

How can I manually reduce paraphimosis?

Generally, paraphimosis can not be managed manually and requires medical intervention. It will help if you don’t try to force your foreskin down, as it may cause more discomfort.

Does paraphimosis go away on its own?

No. It always requires medical intervention.

Is paraphimosis an emergency?

Yes. It’s an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Leaving it untreated for too long can cut off the blood supply to the penis and lead to serious complications.

What is the difference between paraphimosis and phimosis?

Both paraphimosis and phimosis are conditions of the foreskin. However, paraphimosis is a medical emergency, while phimosis isn’t.