Paraphimosis is the inability of an uncircumcised male to pull the foreskin back over the head of the penis.
Paraphimosis and phimosis are related conditions caused by swelling and irritation (inflammation) and narrowing of the foreskin. Causes of inflammation include:
Infection, which may be due to poor personal hygiene
Direct trauma to the area that results in swelling
Uncircumcised males, and those who may not have been correctly or completely circumcised, are at risk.
Paraphimosis occurs most often in children and the elderly.
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.
Inability to pull the retracted foreskin over the head of the penis
Painful swelling at the end of the penis
Pain in the penis
Exams and Tests
A physical examination confirms the diagnosis. The health care provider will usually find a "doughnut" around the shaft near the head of the penis (glans).
Pressing on (compression of) the head of the penis while pushing the foreskin forward may reduce the swelling due to paraphimosis. If this fails, prompt surgical circumcision will be needed.
The outcome is likely to be excellent if the condition is diagnosed and treated quickly.
If paraphimosis is left untreated, it can disrupt blood flow to the tip of the penis. In extreme cases, this may lead to:
Damage to the penis tip
Loss of the penis tip
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Go to your local emergency room if this occurs.
Circumcision, when done correctly, prevents this condition.