The incidence of phimosis in boys

BJU Int. 1999 Jul;84(1):101-2. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-410x.1999.00147.x.


Objective: To establish the incidence of pathological phimosis in boys.

Patients and methods: A 2-year review of circumcisions was performed for phimosis among a known population of boys, with the histological findings of the circumcision specimens assessed.

Results: Sixty-two boys (all but one aged 5-14 years) had typical pathological (cicatrizing) phimosis and among the 51 circumcision specimens examined histologically, 43 (84%) showed appearances of balanitis xerotica obliterans. During the same period, 30 boys were circumcised for developmental unretractability of the foreskin ('physiological phimosis').

Conclusions: The incidence of pathological phimosis in boys was 0.4 cases/1000 boys per year, or 0. 6% of boys affected by their 15th birthday, a value lower than previous estimates and exceeded more than eight-fold by the proportion of English boys currently circumcised for 'phimosis'.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Circumcision, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • England / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Phimosis / epidemiology*
  • Phimosis / surgery