Learn About Paraphimosis

What is the definition of Paraphimosis?

Paraphimosis occurs when the foreskin of an uncircumcised male cannot be pulled back over the head of the penis.

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What are the causes of Paraphimosis?

Causes of paraphimosis include:

  • Injury to the area.
  • Failure to return the foreskin to its normal location after urination or washing. This is more common in hospitals and nursing homes.
  • Infection, which may be due to not washing the area well.

Men who have not been circumcised and those who may not have been correctly circumcised are at risk.

Paraphimosis occurs most often in boys and older men.

What are the symptoms of Paraphimosis?

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.

Symptoms include:

  • Inability to pull the retracted foreskin over the head of the penis
  • Painful swelling at the end of the penis
  • Pain in the penis
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What are the current treatments for Paraphimosis?

Pressing on the head of the penis while pushing the foreskin forward may reduce the swelling. If this fails, prompt surgical circumcision or other surgery to relieve swelling will be needed.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Paraphimosis?

The outcome is likely to be excellent if the condition is diagnosed and treated quickly.

What are the possible complications of Paraphimosis?

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:

  • Damage to the penis tip
  • Gangrene
  • Loss of the penis tip
When should I contact a medical professional for Paraphimosis?

Go to your local emergency room if this occurs.

How do I prevent Paraphimosis?

Returning the foreskin to its normal position after pulling it back may help prevent this condition.

Circumcision, when done correctly, prevents this condition.

Male reproductive anatomy
What are the latest Paraphimosis Clinical Trials?
A Randomized Control Trial Evaluating Pain Outcomes of Ketorolac Administration in Children Undergoing Circumcision
Summary: Circumcision is the most common surgical procedure performed by Pediatric Urologists. Ketorolac has been shown to have an efficacy similar to morphine in multi-modal analgesic regimens without the commonly associated adverse effects. This study aims to see if giving ketorolac during the operation will result in better pain control. We hypothesize that ketorolac will result in pain control similar ...
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What are the Latest Advances for Paraphimosis?
Heineke-Mikulicz Preputioplasty: Surgical Technique and Outcomes.
Summary: Heineke-Mikulicz Preputioplasty: Surgical Technique and Outcomes.
Urologic Emergencies: Paraphimosis.
Summary: Urologic Emergencies: Paraphimosis.
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Case Report: Penile necrosis associated to paraphimosis with calciphylaxis due to terminal chronic kidney disease.
Summary: Case Report: Penile necrosis associated to paraphimosis with calciphylaxis due to terminal chronic kidney disease.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: January 10, 2021
Published By: Kelly L. Stratton, MD, FACS, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Elder JS. Anomalies of the penis and urethra. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 559.

McCollough M, Rose E. Genitourinary and renal tract disorders. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 173.

Virasoro R, Jordan GH, McCammon KA. Surgery for benign disorders of the penis and urethra. In: Partin AW, Domochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 82.