Fournier's Gangrene

Fournier's Gangrene

Topic Overview

Fournier's gangrene is a serious, life-threatening infection of the male genital area. The infection usually starts in the skin of the genitals (penis or scrotum), the urethra , or the rectal area.

There are several conditions that may lead to this infection. Frequently an injury or burn to the area occurred before the infection. Genital surgery, a sexually transmitted infection (STI) , or a problem with the urethra also may precede this infection. Men with certain conditions are at higher risk for developing Fournier's gangrene. These conditions include:

Symptoms include:

  • Swelling and redness.
  • Tissue that looks deeply bruised but is actually dead (necrotic).
  • Drainage of pus with a bad odor.
  • Pain.
  • Fever.
  • Pain with urination.
  • Problems passing urine.
  • Possible shock .

This infection is a medical emergency. It is treated with antibiotics, and surgery is usually needed to remove dead (necrotic) tissue.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Last RevisedMarch 1, 2013

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