Surgical treatment for phimosis

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 

What is Phimosis?

Phimosis is a medical condition. It affects some men. It happens when the foreskin of the penis becomes too tight and can’t be pulled back over the head of the penis. It can cause a lot of pain and discomfort while urinating or having sex. In adults, it can be caused by scarring, inflammation, or infections.  
surgical treatment for phimosis 2

Although phimosis is not a problem until it causes symptoms like pain, Moreover, some boys are born with phimosis. It means the foreskin is tight or stuck to the penis head. It protects the urethra from germs. Usually, this foreskin becomes loose on its own during the first few years of life.

However, if it does not go away until puberty, Then you must seek medical advice. Because the foreskin does not go away on its own during this period.

Generally, steroid creams are the first treatment for phimosis. However, if it does not work, then surgical treatment for phimosis may be advised.

Table of Contents

Types of Phimosis

There are two type of Phimosis. Let’s discuss them in detail.

(i) Physiological Phimosis

Physiological phimosis is a type of phimosis that is normal in male infants. It usually goes away on its own as they get older (5-7 years).

It happens when the foreskin is attached to the head of the penis. It can’t be pulled back easily. Although it isn’t usually a cause for concern. However, it’s important to keep the area clean to prevent infections.

If you’re worried about your child’s phimosis, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor.

(ii) Pathological Phimosis

It is the type of phimosis that can affect anyone of any age. It may arise due to many reasons, such as poor hygiene, infection, scarring, injury, and inflammation.

Moreover, it can also arise due to skin diseases like eczema. It does not go away by itself. Thus, it requires appropriate medical treatment.

How do you diagnose Phimosis?

This condition is usually detected through a physical examination of the penis. The doctor may also ask you about any symptoms that you or your baby boy may have noticed.

The examination will help you detect other causes of foreskin on the penis, such as balanitis xerotica obliterans. It is a skin condition that can make the foreskin too tight. It also prevents the foreskin from retracting.


What are the Treatments for Phimosis?

If your child is not experiencing any symptoms of phimosis, you should not seek medical treatment. As your child is still young, it would be best if the foreskin retracted naturally.

However, the treatments are recommended for older children. As the foreskin can’t retract after a certain age.

Besides this, your child may also suffer symptoms like pain and difficulty urinating. In some cases, surgery may be the only option to treat this condition.

But first, let’s discuss other treatment options.

(i) Topical corticosteroid therap

It is a non-surgical phimosis treatment. It involves the use of steroid cream or ointment. You have to apply cream or ointment to the tip of the foreskin twice a day. You have to apply it over 4–8 weeks.

They will help stretch the skin more easily. Also, after applying it regularly for 2 weeks, the child or parents can try to slowly stretch the foreskin. But you must keep in mind that it should not hurt or cause damage to the foreskin.

As the foreskin starts to stretch back, you can apply the cream to the exposed front part of the penis. In this way, the foreskin will return to its normal position.

Now let’s understand the surgical treatment for this condition.

(ii) Circumcision

It is a type of surgical treatment for phimosis. It is of two types: Full Circumcision and Partial Circumcision.

In full circumcision, the removal of all foreskin takes place. Besides, in this process, only the tight part of the foreskin can also be removed.

For this, surgeons make lengthwise cuts in two to three places on the tight foreskin and then close the cuts by stitching them together.

In partial circumcision, surgeons don’t remove the foreskin. Thus, the foreskin may become tight again, and the head of the penis can be covered by this foreskin, resulting in phimosis.

But this is not possible in full circumcision because all the foreskin is removed in that case. Thus, the head of the penis can’t be covered by the foreskin. So phimosis is not possible in that case.

Additionally, in this surgical treatment for phimosis, general anesthesia is given to children for these procedures. On the other hand, in adults, an operation is carried out under local anesthesia to numb the area.

Is Circumcision Necessary to treat phimosis?

In most cases, it is not necessary to perform circumcision (surgical treatment for phimosis) unless the infant doesn’t have any symptoms. This decision is based on other factors. Such as cultural, social, religious, etc. According to some religions or cultures, baby boys born with phimosis should be treated to avoid future problems. For example, sexually transmitted infections, etc.

Parental preferences are also the main driving factor in this decision.

In adults, it is more likely that they will suffer from symptoms like pain. So if other options failed to treat phimosis in them, Then circumcision is the only option for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are various symptoms of phimosis, such as pain, difficulty urinating, swelling, and redness around the foreskin.  
It can be due to phimosis. It affects both adults and children. It is a medical condition due to which you are unable to pull back the foreskin from the tip of the penis. Phimosis is usually not a problem, though. But if you are facing symptoms like pain or difficulty passing urine, Then you must seek medical advice.
Phimosis is usually resolved on its own in infant boys as they grow (5-7 years). So a parent should wait for a few years so that the foreskin naturally retracts to its position. However, this decision is completely up to you.
On the other hand, if you are an adult with phimosis, it is not possible to treat it on its own. So you have to undergo medical treatments to cure phimosis.
Yes, you can walk soon after circumcision. You will be asked to do so. Because walking is essential to maintaining circulation and bowel function, Besides, it is crucial for preventing blood clots.
However, you should avoid all activities for 2–3 days post-circumcision so that the blood vessels in the pens can heal completely
Bleeding and infection are the two most common disadvantages of circumcision. Moreover, the anesthesia used in the surgery may also have some side effects.
It is the sheath of the skin. It covers the head of the penis. Glans is another name for a penis head in medical terms. At birth, the foreskin is completely connected to the penis. Over time, it separates and can be pulled back, resulting in phimosis.