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.
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:
- Swelling and redness.
- Tissue that
looks deeply bruised but is actually dead (necrotic).
- Drainage of
pus with a bad odor.
- Pain with
- Problems passing urine.
This infection is a medical emergency. It is treated with antibiotics, and surgery is usually needed
to remove dead (necrotic) tissue.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
March 1, 2011
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