Complications of Phimosis

Usually phimosis is not a very serious condition and responds well to treatment. If the phimosis is left untreated it may lead to various complications which will briefly be discussed:

phimosis complication

If the phimosis is left untreated it may lead to various complications

  • Para-phimosis
  • Phimosis may be a cause of para-phimosis.  Para-phimosis is when the foreskin is pulled back over the glans of the penis and is stuck in that position.  It is much more serious than phimosis. The foreskin is unable to be reduced, or in other words, the foreskin is unable to be pulled back over the glans so it is stuck around the penile shaft.  The foreskin thus forms a tight constricting band around the penis. Para-phimosis is usually treated as a medical emergency because it can cause blood flow obstruction to the tip of the penis which may lead to gangrene of the penisPhimosis is usually easy to differentiate from para-phimosis because in phimosis the foreskin cannot be retracted to expose the glans of the penis, whereas in para-phimosis the foreskin is too tight around the penile shaft and can’t return to its normal position

  • Penile carcinoma
  • It has been shown that recurrent phimosis may increase the male’s risk of penile carcinoma. Men who have phimosis have a 5-11 times increased risk of developing penile carcinoma compared to men who do not having phimosis. Penile carcinoma is also more common when excessive smegma build up is present. Smegma is a substance secreted by the penis and builds up if the man does not regularly wash under his foreskin. Men with phimosis have difficulties washing under their foreskins thus smegma builds up and increases their risk of penile carcinoma. Penile carcinoma is still quite rare.

  • Balanoposthitis
  • Infection of the glans and foreskin (balanoposthisis) may result from the patient having a phimosis. Balanoposthitis is much more common in patients with phimosis.