When a man has a hidden or buried penis, the shaft of his penis is tucked inside the skin of his scrotum, abdomen, or thigh. The penis is still a normal size, but only the tip of it is visible. The condition is sometimes called an inconspicuous or concealed penis.
A buried penis may be congenital (present at birth). It can also happen in adulthood, caused by obesity, aging, and inflammation. Significant weight gain can make it worse, as there is more fat and skin concealing the penis. Men who have gastric bypass may find that their penis becomes hidden by excess skin after the procedure.
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 (lymphedema) 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.
Buried penis often comes along with other physical problems. Boys and men may be unable to urinate while standing, or even sitting, without getting drops of urine on the skin of the scrotum or thighs. Infections in the urinary tract and the genital area are common. The skin covering the head of the penis may become inflamed. Men may be unable to get an erection. If they do get an erection, it may be painful and/or may not be able to penetrate a vagina.
Once the condition has been treated, it’s unlikely to return in any form. If obesity or other manageable condition was a factor, it will be important to maintain a healthy weight and good health. You should also discuss proper genital hygiene with your doctor, as well as possible signs of complications or side effects from your treatment.
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