Is phimosis dangerous?
If identified and treated at an early stage, phimosis does not pose any major threats to the life of any man. But if taken lightly and not provided with treatment, tight foreskin can be dangerous. Men with tight foreskin are at a greater risk of developing penile cancer. If left untreated, phimosis can result in the inflammation of the foreskin, glans penis or both.
Hence, it is very important for a man to maintain good penile hygiene and be gentle while cleaning the foreskin to prevent pathological phimosis. Additionally, men should avoid using harsh soaps and cleansers to clean the genitals and use only lukewarm water to clean the prepuce.
Are phimosis and paraphimosis the same?
Phimosis and paraphimosis are both common foreskin problems but are different from each other.
In phimosis, the prepuce becomes tight and cannot be retracted over the glans penis. It is very common in babies and young boys. In older men, the problem may occur due to chronic penile infection and inflation in the foreskin and the penis. The tight foreskin also causes problems in urination and any sexual activity as well.
On the other hand, in paraphimosis, the foreskin can be retracted but cannot be pulled forward again. It mostly occurs if the foreskin is retracted immediately after a medical procedure. Paraphimosis leads to swelling of the glans penis and increases pressure to the retracted foreskin. The stuck foreskin forms a constricted ring around the penis. The condition prevents the flow of blood from reaching the penis, which may cause damage to the penile tissue.
While phimosis is not a medical emergency, paraphimosis is. Paraphimosis needs medical treatment at the earliest
When do you need circumcision for phimosis?
Doctors recommend circumcision in case of severe or recurring phimosis. It is the surgical procedure to remove the layer of the foreskin from the penis. In addition to treating various foreskin problems like phimosis, paraphimosis, etc, circumcision offers other medical benefits too.
Benefits of circumcision
Medical practitioners consider circumcision to be highly effective for penile problems like phimosis. The primary benefits include:
- Reduced risk of STIs in men
- Protection against penile cancer
- Lesser chances of urinary tract infections
- Prevents smegma build-up
- Lowers the risk of cervical cancer in their female sexual partners
- Prevents balanitis (inflammation of the glans penis) and balanoposthitis (inflammation of both foreskin and the glans)
Risks of circumcision
Like any other surgical methods, circumcision too has some amount fo risks including:
- Post-surgery pain
- Risk of swelling and infection in the surgical area
- Risk of penile injury
The benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks when performed precisely. If performed by an experienced doctor, the patient is highly unlikely to suffer from any risk or complication.
Furthermore, doctors nowadays use advanced laser technique for circumcision. In this procedure, only laser energy is used to remove the prepuce without damaging the neighboring tissues.
Following are the advantages of laser circumcision over open surgery:
- Non-invasive procedure
- Completes within 15-20 minutes
- Painless procedure- with the use of anesthesia
- Outpatient procedure
- No stitches, wounds, or scars
- Resume work from the next day
- Fast and smooth recovery
- No need for daily dressing