A “hidden” or “buried” penis refers to a penile shaft that is buried below the surface of the penile skin and also to a partially or totally obscured penis. There are numerous causes of a hidden penis including congenital, obesity, aging, a shortage of penile skin, or an overly aggressive circumcision.
Hidden penis can be present at birth or may develop later in life. It is seen more often in infants and toddlers than in older boys and men. Some of the most common causes include:
Congenital abnormalities: The ligaments that attach the penis to underlying structures may be weaker or smaller than usual, or may be malformed.
Morbid obesity: Excess fat around the abdomen and genital area can make the penis appear to be hidden.
Ageing: Natural skin laxity due to ageing combined with fat deposits can obscure the penis.
Lymphedema: Swelling around the scrotum area due to the collection of lymph fluid may cause the penis to become buried inside tissue.
Usually, a doctor can diagnose the condition with a visual and physical exam.
Hidden 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. Psychological problems linked to hidden penis may be present in boys and men, who may have issues like low self-esteem and depression.
Hidden penis can be difficult to treat both in children and adults. The treatment depends on the underlying cause. In infants and children, sometimes the condition fixes itself on its own. If hidden penis occurs in adult men or does not resolve on its own in children, surgery may be needed. Each situation is different so there is no one surgical technique that applies to every case. However, types of surgery include:
- Removing scar tissue
- Detaching the ligament that attaches the base of the penis to the pubic bone
- Suction lipectomy, or the removal of fat cells using surgical suction catheters inserted through tiny incisions
- Abdominoplasty, a procedure to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal area; also called a “tummy tuck”
- Panniculectomy, or the removal of the pannus (excess skin and fatty tissue that hangs down over the genitals and/or thighs)
- Escutheonectomy, or the removal of the fat pad above the pubic area
- Skin grafts to cover areas of the penis where skin coverage is lacking
Associate Professor Moore says, “The extent of the procedure depends on the severity of the patient’s condition and their individual anatomy, which I explain thoroughly to the patient after physical assessment during the confidential consultation process. The procedure can usually be performed as a day surgery under general anaesthetic.”
Hidden penis also may be treated with:
Medications: A doctor may prescribe drugs if hidden penis has caused an infection in the genital region.
Weight loss: Obese patients usually are encouraged to lose weight before having surgery. Although weight loss alone is not likely to solve the problem, it can make complications during and after surgery less likely. Weight loss and nutritional counselling can help patients before and after surgery.
Psychological counselling: Mental health professionals may address issues such as depression, sexual dysfunction, and low self-esteem.
Associate Professor Moore has patients travelling from all over Australia, indeed the world, for his experience and skill in correcting hidden penis and so many other sensitive penile conditions and issues. He has helped thousands of men regain their function and confidence. For more information on any of these conditions check out the blogs below. Or, if you’d like more information or to book a consult, contact Associate Professor Moore at the Australian Centre for Cosmetic and Penile Surgery on 0414251234.