Circumcision, Phimosis and Paraphimosis
What are circumcision, phimosis and paraphimosis?
Circumcision involves the removal of the foreskin from the tip of the penis. A circumcision can be done at birth up to 4 to 6 weeks of age in clinic with a local anesthetic. If a circumcision is not done in that timeframe, it can be done later under general anesthesia. There are multiple reasons why a circumcision may not have been done at birth including prematurity, illness or the identification of an abnormality in the penis.
Phimosis occurs when the foreskin is tight and narrow, making it impossible or painful to pull back. This may cause pain or could lead to infections. If this condition continues beyond the average age of 4 to 5 years old, or causes pain with erections, medical or surgical intervention may be necessary.
Paraphimosis is where the foreskin is able to be pulled back fully behind the ridge of the glans but is unable to be pulled back over the glans. It can cause swelling and irritation, requiring urgent medical attention
Why come to Children's Hospital Colorado for treatment of these conditions?
The professionals at Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colorado are dedicated to caring for kids. The members of the urology team are experts in pediatric urologic conditions and our surgeons are specialized in both pediatrics and urology. We strive to help patients and families feel educated about their condition, prepared for treatment and fully cared for by our urology team.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Phimosis: The child may experience bulging of the foreskin during urination. Also, if the foreskin is unable to be retracted by the age of 5 years, this condition may require surgical intervention called circumcision.
Paraphimosis: The child may experience pain, discoloration and swelling of the penis. The foreskin may not be able to be pulled back over the tip of the penis.
How do you diagnose it?
A careful physical examination by your child’s physician normally provides satisfactory information to make a diagnosis.
How is it treated?
Phimosis: Medical and surgical treatment are both options. Medical intervention involves the use of a steroid cream. This is done for 4 to 6 weeks, and the child is re-evaluated. Surgical intervention involves a circumcision.
Paraphimosis: This condition may require urgent medical attention. Treatment may include lubricating the foreskin and tip of the penis and then gently squeezing the tip of the penis while pulling the foreskin forward.
Who gets it and can it be prevented?
No one knows exactly why some boys get phimosis or paraphimosis.
When should I seek medical attention?
If any signs and symptoms as described above are present, contact the Children's Hospital Colorado urology team.