A buried penis is a penis that is covered by excess skin in the pubic area or scrotum. The scrotum is the sac of skin that surrounds the testicles. The penis is usually of normal length and function, but it is hidden. This condition can be caused by:
- Excess fat
- Fluid retention
- Problems with ligaments
- Complications after a circumcision
It can affect urination and sexual arousal, but it is usually treatable with surgery. A buried penis can also cause embarrassment and psychological harm.
A buried penis can result from several causes. They include:
- Too much or not enough foreskin is removed during circumcision. The remaining skin around the penis may be pulled forward, hiding the penis.
- The ligaments that attach the penis to the body are abnormally weak.
- Swelling of the scrotum caused by a buildup of lymph fluid can bury the penis.
- Excessive fat in a male who is obese may cover the penis.
It doesn’t appear that the condition is an inherited trait or has anything to do with a person’s hormones.
Surgery is usually necessary to treat buried penis. In very young children, the condition may resolve without any intervention. For morbidly obese children and adults, weight loss may help. However, losing weight usually isn’t enough to completely treat the problem.
If some form of surgery is needed, the surgical options are:
- Detaching the ligaments that connect the base of the penis to the pubic bone.
- Performing skin grafts to cover areas of the penis where skin coverage is needed; this can be necessary if circumcision removes too much skin.
- Suction lipectomy, which uses catheters to suck out fat cells under the skin from the area around the penis.
- Abdominoplasty, where excess fat and skin from the region are removed in a cosmetic surgical procedure that is sometimes called a “tummy tuck”.
- Panniculectomy, which removes the pannus, the excess tissue and skin that hang over the genitals and thighs.
- Escutheonectomy, where the pad of fat just above the pubic area is removed.
Antibiotics may be necessary if an infection has developed in the genital area. Also, psychological counselling may be needed if the condition is serious enough that it affects you or your child’s sexual health and self-esteem.
For a better long term outcome, surgical interventions should be done at a young age. As males age and have more frequent erections and greater fat accumulation in the pubic area, surgical solutions become more challenging.
To find out more about treating a buried penis, get in touch with us on 0330 808 1968 and book a consultation with one of our friendly Urologists.