What Is The Difference Between Phimosis And Paraphimosis?


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Usually, people confuse phimosis and paraphimosis as the same. But they are two different medical conditions that affect the foreskin. In the case of phimosis, the foreskin cannot be retracted from the tip of the penis. However, the foreskin is retracted but cannot be moved back in case of paraphimosis. Not only this, but the causes, symptoms, and risk factors of these diseases differ as well.

What Is Phimosis?

Phimosis is defined as a medical condition in which the foreskin becomes tight and does not retract over the glans penis. There are several conditions that contribute significantly to the development of phimosis. Recurring urinary tract infections, rough or inappropriate handling of the foreskin, injury to the foreskin, eczema, genital herpes, lichen planus, psoriasis, gonorrhea, and syphilis are considered as the major contributors.

There are two types of phimosis; the first one is physiological phimosis and the second one is pathological phimosis. When a boy is born with a tight foreskin, this is considered as physiological phimosis. 90% of the physiological phimosis are resolved on their own when the boy reaches the age of 15-16. But, pathological phimosis occurs due to injuries, infections, pain, swelling, scarring, or other underlying medical conditions.

Be it physiological or pathological phimosis, proper and timely diagnosis and treatment are necessary as they can cause other serious complications. If you are suffering from phimosis, you can experience swelling, itching, soreness, and redness around the penis. You can also feel severe pain and discomfort during urination and erection as well as whenever you try to retract the foreskin.

Therefore, it is important for you to get your phimosis treated timely and properly so that further complications can be avoided. Delaying phimosis treatment can also make it difficult for you to maintain hygiene in the penile region due to the non-retractability of the foreskin. This leads to the accumulation of sweat, microbes, and dead tissues in the foreskin area, which can potentially cause serious health issues that need immediate medical intervention. Not only this, but untreated phimosis can also lead to several serious complications which include balanitis, balanoposthitis, penile cancer, and paraphimosis. 

What Is Paraphimosis?

Paraphimosis is a serious urological condition that can affect men at any stage of their life. In this condition, the foreskin gets stuck behind the head of the penis and does not come back to its original position. This is considered a critical urological condition that may obstruct the blood flow to the glans penis. In such a situation, timely treatment becomes necessary as paraphimosis can potentially lead to several other grave complications.

Paraphimosis occurs due to several reasons. Penile piercing, vigorous sexual activities, trauma to the genital region, foreskin that is tighter than normal, a circumcision that was not completed correctly, swelling in the foreskin or penis due to insect bite, uses of a penile ring to enhance erection by compression, infection due to poor hygiene, scars due to infection of the foreskin or the forceful retraction of the foreskin or diabetes are considered as the main causes of paraphimosis.

In case of suffering from paraphimosis, you may experience swelling at the end of the penis, pain, redness, discomfort, inability to pull the retracted foreskin back to the head of the penis, inability to urinate, or black tissue on the end of the penis. Paraphimosis is considered a serious condition that requires immediate medical intervention because it can potentially cause Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

Treatment Of Phimosis

Treatment of phimosis also prevents paraphimosis and other diseases that it may lead to in case if it’s left untreated. A urologist is the best person to treat phimosis. After performing a proper diagnosis, the urologist recommends the method of treatment. If your phimosis is detected at the initial stage, your doctor would prescribe medications and topical ointments. This will soften the tissue of your foreskin, making it retractable easily.

However, medications and topical ointments take a long time to show results and in some cases, it may not even prove to be effective at all. They are known for improving the symptoms of phimosis in its early stages. In cases of severe phimosis or when no medications or topical ointments prove to be effective or show no positive results, circumcision comes as the saviour.

Circumcision is a surgical procedure in which the surgeon removes the foreskin of the penis surgically. Circumcision can be performed with open surgery or with the help of the laser. Open surgery involves cuts, bleeding, pain, discomfort and is a complex procedure where the chances of complications during or after the procedure are very high. The recovery after open surgery is also long and discomforting. But modern and advanced laser circumcision is comparatively a much easier, safer, precise, and successful procedure.

The surgeon uses a high-intensity laser beam to remove the foreskin during laser circumcision. It is a minimally invasive procedure that does not involve big cuts, bleeding, pain, or discomfort. During this surgical procedure, the foreskin is removed precisely while leaving the surrounding tissues intact. Laser circumcision is performed under the influence of local or general anaesthesia. It is a daycare procedure where you are discharged after a few hours of the procedure. It takes around 10-15 minutes to complete the laser circumcision. The chances of complications during or after laser circumcision are also almost zero. After laser circumcision, the patient recovers rapidly without facing any issues.

Compared to open surgery, laser circumcision is considered to be an effective and permanent treatment of phimosis. You should consult a urologist as soon as you start noticing the symptoms of phimosis. You should get your phimosis treated timely to avoid serious complications that it may lead to. We offer modern and advanced treatment of phimosis at our clinics across major cities of India. Our urologists have mastered the art of laser circumcision. We have very recently been awarded as the Center of Excellence for Laser Circumcision In India. You do not have to think twice. We will cure your problem for once and all without letting you feel any pain throughout your entire surgical treatment. 

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