PENILE SWELLING/LYMPHEDEMA

By Gary M. White, MD

Penile edema


Rarely, a dermatitis of the penis can cause tremendous swelling. The lymphedema may be acute or chronic.

Clinical

Edema of the penis can take on several forms. The most impressive is the pronounced enlargement and curvature of the so called saxophone penis. Acute penile enlargement may be from a variety of causes including:

Chronic edema in children may be caused by filarial infection, Crohn's disease, or a vascular abnormality [J Pediatr Surg 2014;49:1647-51]. In adults, it may be caused by:

Filarial infection is perhaps the most common cause worldwide. Chronic lymphedema can lead to polypoid and verrucous lesions. Many adult patients with the chronic form are obese.

Treatment

Treating the cause is, of course, paramount. In acute cases, the penis will return to normal once the inflammation has subsided. Prednisone may be given if the cause is primarily inflammatory and not infectious.

In chronic cases where there is no obvious cause, a search for a neoplasm or other blockage of the lymphatics is in order. Weight loss is important if the patient is overweight. Plastic surgery may be considered [J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2014 Oct 23]. A compression device has been reported [Urol Ann. 2014;6:88-90].

References

Dramatic picture of saxophone penis. Indian Dermatol Online J 2015;6:462-3

RegionalDerm

Homepage | FAQs | Contact Dr. White


It is not the intention of RegionalDerm.com to provide specific medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. RegionalDerm.com only intends to provide users with information regarding various medical conditions for educational purposes and will not provide specific medical advice. Information on RegionalDerm.com is not intended as a substitute for seeking medical treatment and you should always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider for diagnosis and for answers to your individual questions. Information contained on RegionalDerm.com should never cause you to disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment. If you live in the United States and believe you are having a medical emergency call 911 immediately.