Overview

Penoscrotal web, also known as penoscrotal webbing or a webbed penis, is a congenital condition where the skin of the scrotum extends up the underside of the penis. This web-like appearance can cause functional and cosmetic concerns. Penoscrotal webbing can vary in severity and may affect sexual function or cause discomfort during erection.

Penoscrotal webbing has been recognized in medical literature for many years, though its exact prevalence is unclear due to varying degrees of severity and the private nature of the symptoms. The condition can be congenital, often appearing alongside other anomalies such as hypospadias (an abnormality of the urethra) or it can be acquired, potentially resulting from surgical procedures, trauma, or inflammation.

Over the years, surgical techniques to correct penoscrotal webbing have evolved. Early methods focused primarily on aesthetic outcomes, but contemporary approaches aim for both cosmetic and functional improvements. Techniques such as Z-plasty, V-Y plasty, and other reconstructive procedures are now commonly employed.

Causes

Penoscrotal webbing is typically a congenital condition, meaning it is present at birth. It occurs due to incomplete separation of the penis and scrotum during fetal development. While the exact cause is not well understood, it is not typically associated with other medical conditions or syndromes.

Risk Factors

Penoscrotal webbing usually occurs without any specific risk factors, but in some cases, it may be associated with:

  • Congenital Abnormalities: Other congenital conditions affecting the genitalia or urinary tract.
  • Family History: A family history of similar congenital anomalies, although this is rare.

Complications

While penoscrotal webbing is primarily a cosmetic issue, it can lead to several complications if left untreated:

Sexual Dysfunction: Discomfort or pain during erection and sexual activity due to the tension of the webbed skin.

Psychological Impact: Anxiety, embarrassment, or low self-esteem related to the appearance of the genital area.

Circumcision Complications: Unidentified penoscrotal webbing can cause complications during newborn circumcision.

Prevention

There is no known way to prevent penoscrotal webbing, as it is a congenital condition. Early diagnosis can allow for better informed decision-making. Most penoscrotal webbing does not require surgery but if it does need an operation, there are advantages to early intervention.

 

Symptoms

When to see a doctor