All about Phimosis and its treatment
Phimosis is a medical condition in which the foreskin cannot be retracted or pulled back from the tip of the penis. It is mostly seen in young boys and men who have not done circumcision (the process of removal of the foreskin from the penis). It is very common in newborn babies because their penis is still tight and is difficult to retract the foreskin. However, most boys can retract the foreskin as they reach the age of three.
In young boys, the condition generally resolves after puberty or by the time the boy reaches adolescence. However, if the condition persists, and the boy experiences pain or difficulty in urinating, he may need treatment or a circumcision surgery.
There is another condition called paraphimosis which is a complicated medical condition and needs emergency treatment. Here, the foreskin retracts, but the boy may have difficulty bringing the foreskin back to its original position. When this happens, the boy may experience severe pain, swelling, and tightening of the penis and need emergency care.
Phimosis can occur due to several reasons such as:
- Repetitive pulling and stretching of the foreskin: It can cause inflammation and tear the foreskin and ultimately cause phimosis.
- Infections: Infections like UTIs (urinary tract infections) in boys and men can cause phimosis.
- Diabetes: Men with diabetes can develop a condition called balanitis, an infection that causes redness and swelling of the tip of the penis. This condition may lead to phimosis. If diabetes is not treated properly, residual glucose can be found in the urine that can cause phimosis.
- Foreskin trauma: Injury to foreskin due to scratching or zipper entrapment.
- Balanoposthitis: A condition where the foreskin and the glans penis are inflamed.
- Piercings: Penis piercings can cause infection or swelling and it may be difficult to retract the foreskin.
- Aging: Old age may cause wrinkles and the foreskin may lose its elasticity leading to phimosis.
- Skin infections: Infections like eczema or psoriasis can occur on the foreskin and may leave it dry and scratchy. Other skin infections like lichen planus and lichen sclerosus may cause infection and scarring of the foreskin.
- Manhandling of the foreskin: Caregivers while inserting a catheter may forget to pull back the foreskin.
- Sexual intercourse: If the foreskin has been pulled back during sex for a prolonged time, it can cause phimosis.
- STIs: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhea or genital herpes can cause phimosis.
- Poor hygiene: Lack of proper hygiene can cause bacterial growth and may cause phimosis.
At the earlier stage, Phimosis may not have any symptoms. However, the patient may feel difficulty in urinating or may have problems emptying the bladder completely. As the condition progresses, the patient may experience several symptoms such as:
- Inflammation and redness of the penis
- Distinct odor
- Pain and difficulty in urinating
- Expansion of the foreskin like a balloon while urinating
- Blood in the urine
- Weak urine stream
- Pain in the abdomen or lower back or feeling pressure while urinating
- Pain in the foreskin
- White discharge or pus
- A white ring-like tissue develops at the tip of the foreskin
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Lack of sensation during intercourse
Your doctor will do a physical examination of your penis and the foreskin. The doctor will ask whether you have any history of injury or infection of the penis. He will also inquire about the symptoms you are experiencing and whether you are having any difficulty during sexual activities.
A swab from the foreskin will be collected to detect the presence of any bacteria. Urine tests may be done to check for infections.
If you are a diabetic patient, a blood and urine test will be conducted to check your sugar levels.
Natural phimosis generally occurs during infancy and is common in almost all children. This foreskin is stuck at the tip (glans) of the penis and protects the glans and the urethra. With time, as the baby or the toddler grows up, the foreskin loosens and becomes more elastic. Parents should not get alarmed or anxious and must wait for a few years before starting any treatment. However, if the child is having pain or difficulty in urination, they can seek medical advice.
Often, parents try to forcibly pull back the foreskin to its normal position. This can be extremely painful and can lead to severe injury or scarring of the foreskin tissue. This is called acquired phimosis. During the early years, the foreskin is not completely pulled back and so there is no need to use cotton swabs or cloth to clean the area at the tip of the penis as it can cause injury or infection.
Treatment is done depending on the age of the patient, the nature and extent of the disease, and the cause of the problem.
In early childhood, doctors advise waiting for a few years till the foreskin develops and retracts on its own. However, if the problem persists, steroid creams are prescribed to help in the stretching of the foreskin.
- Natural or home remedy: Keep the penis clean. Use lukewarm water to gently clean the penis. Avoid using harsh soaps as they may cause skin irritation. Always rinse your penis after urinating so that no residual urine is left under the foreskin as it may cause bacterial growth. Topical steroid creams or moisturizers like Dermol or Hydromol can be applied to smoothen the foreskin. Gently rub the cream on the foreskin. This may soothe the pain and help reduce inflammation. Try pushing the foreskin to its natural position without hurting. Remember, too much pressure can cause damage to the foreskin.
- Antifungal creams: If phimosis is due to any fungal infection, then your doctor will prescribe an antifungal ointment like candid cream or clotrimazole.
- Antibiotics: Oral medications like metronidazole or flucloxacillin can be taken as per doctor instructions.
Surgical treatment involves circumcision or the removal of the foreskin. Circumcision can be done partially where only part of the foreskin that is tight is removed or full circumcision where the entire foreskin is removed.
In newborns, circumcision is done usually one to two days after the baby is born. However, if the baby has any medical problem, the procedure can be delayed and done after a few days. During the procedure, the baby will lay on his back with his arms and legs restrained. The area in and around the penis will be cleaned. An anesthetic cream can be applied or an injection can be injected to numb the penis. A plastic clamp is used to remove the foreskin. After the foreskin is removed, an ointment will be applied to the penis and wrapped up with gauze.
The procedure will be complete within a few minutes. Risks are relatively low in infants and recovery is faster compared to adults and older boys.
Generally, it takes a week or 10 days to heal and recover from the surgery. Mild bruising, swelling, or redness may be noticed. Some patients may develop pus or a yellowish fluid at the tip of the penis.
In infants, change the bandage regularly and apply some petroleum jelly at the tip of the penis to reduce discomfort before putting on the diaper. After the healing starts, the penis can be washed and cleaned gently.
- Preputioplasty: This is a simple procedure compared to circumcision. Here, topical anesthetic or injection is applied. Then a small incision in the shape of a “Y” is made on the foreskin. After the procedure, the cut is stitched with dissolvable stitches. The penis is bandaged properly. The wound heals within three to four days. This procedure is done in men and older boys who want to retain their uncircumcised appearance of the penis.
- Frenuloplasty: This is procedure is done to help stretch the frenulum which is the skin situated underneath the penis. It helps loosen the foreskin so that it can be pulled easily. Local or general anesthesia is administered. A small cut is made on the frenulum that helps to lengthen it. Sometimes, the doctor may remove the entire frenulum. This procedure can help to relieve discomfort during sexual intercourse and phimosis. It is normal to see a little swelling around the site of the incision. The stitches normally dissolve on their own.
In general, surgical procedures for the treatment of phimosis are safe and patients recover fully without any side effects. However, these procedures have some potential risks such as:
- Bleeding can occur from the wound.
- Infections are accompanied by pus, redness, or inflammation.
- Pain and swelling on the incision site.
- The foreskin may not be removed properly during the procedure. In such cases, corrective surgery is done to remove the excess skin.
- Damage or injury to the penis during the surgery.
- Some patients may report skin irritation or allergic reactions to local anesthesia.
Phimosis is a health condition whereby the foreskin that covers the head of your penis is so tight that it fails to retract. Phimosis can lead to skin splitting. Phimosis may prove to be a serious condition, especially because it can cause swollen glans. Steroid cream and other home remedies can help to soften the foreskin, thereby resulting in easier retraction. However, to avoid complications, phimosis surgery is usually recommended.
Benefits of Phimosis Treatment in Bangalore
- Personalized care and support
- High-end medical facilities
- Faster recovery
- Fewer side effects
- Affordable cost
Goficure for phimosis treatment in Bangalore
At goficure, we have formed an efficient partnership with highly competent surgeons in Bangalore who are experienced in treating phimosis. We have some of the most skilled surgeons in Bangalore when it comes to conducting advanced laser surgery. We usually recommend laser surgery for treating phimosis as opposed to regular surgery because it is fast, efficient less invasive. The success rate is also higher with minimal risk for infection. Goficure will take care of everything, starting with booking your appointments, all the way to post-op care. We offer the most pocket-friendly discounted appointments in Bangalore. Will make arrangements to have you picked from your house and organize for the surgery. We also liaise with specialty hospitals in Bangalore where you can undergo laser surgery to avoid delays. We will drive you back home and make arrangements for your insurance claim. Our post-op care is unmatched in Bangalore. Our nutritionists will guide you on the best diet plans that will ensure a faster recovery. We are always on call should you develop any complications or seek to make any inquiries regarding phimosis treatment.
Exclusive features you get with goficure
1. Dedicated Medi-Pal
A dedicated Medi-Pal is assigned to you. Your Medi-Pal will be your one point contact throughout the treatment and post-op period. They will always be available for you
2. Quick doctor’s appointments
After understanding your concerns, your Medi-Pal will schedule your consultation with a specialist doctor. Your doctor will carry out necessary tests and advise the course of treatment
3. Hassle-free treatment
If you opt to get the surgery done, goficure will take care of it completely. Right from booking your surgery, claiming your insurance to being with you throughout the procedure, your Medi-Pal will do it all
4. Post-op recovery support
Your Medi-Pal would ensure quick recovery. This includes booking your follow up consultations and helping you with doctor-recommended steps for diet & exercise
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