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 Reference urethra Opens New Window, 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 Reference sexually transmitted infection (STI) Opens New Window, 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:
- Being older than age 50.
- Having Reference diabetes Opens New Window.
- Having a suppressed Reference immune system Opens New Window.
- Swelling and redness.
- Tissue that looks deeply bruised but is actually dead (necrotic).
- Drainage of pus with a bad odor.
- Pain with urination.
- Problems passing urine.
- Possible Reference shock Opens New Window.
This infection is a medical emergency. It is treated with antibiotics, and surgery is usually needed to remove dead (necrotic) tissue.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 15, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference David Messenger, MD