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Lymphoedema is swelling (especially in subcutaneous tissues) as a result of obstruction of lymphatic vessels or lymph nodes and the accumulation of large amounts of lymph in the affected region.[1]

Lymphoedema after circumcision

Lymphoedema and associated swelling in the penis is an expected complication of circumcision.[2][3] Ferhatoglu et al. (2019) reported edema in 108 of 198 patients or 54.5 percent.[4] The length of time that it lasts after circumcision varies and is unpredictable, but it is not uncommon for it to last many months.

Blood is supplied to the penis by arteries deep within the penis. Blood is returned to the heart by veins in the foreskin. Circumcision severs those veins, so blood has difficulty in returning to the heart. This causes a buildup of lymphatic fluid in the penis.

Swelling most commonly occurs in the residual internal mucosa between the glans penis and the circumcision scar (distal of the scar), but may also occur elsewhere.

Lymphoedema may be more common after adolescent and adult circumcision.

There does not seem to be any satisfactory treatment for it except patience and time.

Lymphoedema after masturbation

Lymphoedema of the foreskin may occur after vigorous and/or prolonged masturbation. It is painless and harmless. It usually resolves within 24 hours.


Lymphoedema frequently occurs secondary to paraphimosis due to the restriction of blood circulation in the penis.

External links

  • REFweb (13 November 2016). Lymphoedema, National Health Service. Retrieved 25 November 2019.


  1. REFweb (2012). Lymphoedema, The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  2. REFjournal Kaplan GW. Complications of circumcision. Urol Clin N Amer. August 1983; 10(3): 543-9. PMID. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  3. REFjournal Williams N, Kapilla L. Complications of circumcision.. Brit J Surg. October 1993; 80(10): 1231-6. PMID. DOI. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  4. REFjournal Ferhatoglu Mf, Kartal A, Gurkan A. Evaluation of Male Circumcision: Retrospective Analysis of One Hundred and Ninety-eight Patients. Cureus. 27 April 2019; 11(4): e4555. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 17 February 2022.