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Phimosis is a catchall term used to describe multiple conditions arising when the foreskin cannot be retracted. There are two basic types: physiological phimosis (normal and acceptable) and pathological phimosis (abnormal and not acceptable).1 Many physicians do not know the difference, 2 often leading to unnecessary circumcision.3 If your physician diagnoses your son as having phimosis, inquire as to which type. A second opinion is advised if your physician is unaware of these two types.

I AM INTERESTED IN LEARNING ABOUT:

Physiological Phimosis (normal)

Pathological Phimosis (abnormal)

  1. Van Howe R. Cost-effective treatment of phimosis. Pediatrics. 1998;102:e43.
  2. McGregor TB, Pike JG, Leonard MP. Pathologic and physiologic phimosis: approach to the phimotic foreskin. Can Fam Physician 2007;53:445-448.
  3. Griffiths D, Frank JD. Inappropriate circumcision referrals by Gps. J R Soc Med. 1992;85:324–325.