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.
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 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 urination.
- Problems passing urine.
- Possible shock.
This infection is a medical emergency. It is treated with antibiotics, and surgery is usually needed to remove dead (necrotic) tissue.
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Current as ofJune 4, 2014
Current as of: June 4, 2014
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.