Penile Paraffinoma

Eur Urol Focus. 2019 Sep;5(5):894-898. doi: 10.1016/j.euf.2018.06.013. Epub 2018 Jul 11.


Penile paraffinoma is a rare cause of penile mass that can occur following injection of liquid paraffin, performed illicitly for penile augmentation. Over the past 2 yr, we have observed an increasing number of cases presenting with the complications of penile paraffinoma; three patients of central European origin have required inpatient treatment at our institution and posed a significant management dilemma. This mini-review aims to review the literature on the aetiopathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis, and management of penile paraffinoma. A systematic search of PubMed and Scopus was performed with 10 case series and 26 case reports identified between 1956 and 2017. A total of 124 cases, with a mean age of 36.29 yr, were identified. The majority originated in Korea, and the most common injected material was liquid paraffin (80.6%). Patients presented with pain/swelling, ulceration/fistulae, and penile deformity. The majority required surgical excision of paraffinoma followed by reconstruction with a variety of procedures including split skin grafting, scrotal skin flap reconstruction, and prepuce grafting. Mean duration of follow-up was 15.8 mo. Penile paraffinoma remains a rare presentation; however, it can present management difficulties. We have had an increase in cases, with three patients presenting with complications following injection of paraffin in our unit in the past 2 yr. Definitive management includes surgical excision and reconstruction as required with early involvement of plastic surgeons. There may be a role for conservative management; however, long-term outcomes are unclear. There may be a need for targeted preventative measures through public health agencies in communities where the practice is more prevalent. PATIENT SUMMARY: Penile paraffinoma can occur following injection of liquid paraffin or similar substances, generally used by non-healthcare personnel for the purpose of penile augmentations, and can cause significant pain, ulceration, and penile deformity. Definitive management includes surgical excision with reconstruction as required. Prevention of its use through awareness and education may be required in communities where the practice is more common.

Keywords: Paraffinoma; Penis; Reconstruction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Modification, Non-Therapeutic / adverse effects*
  • Foreign Bodies / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Paraffin / administration & dosage
  • Paraffin / adverse effects*
  • Penile Diseases / etiology*


  • Paraffin