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Buried Penis

A buried penis is a condition where a man's penis becomes hidden inside folds of skin in the belly, thighs, or scrotum.

It's sometimes present at birth but can happen at any age. In adults, a buried penis often occurs in men who are morbidly obese.

A buried penis can cause problems with peeing, having sex, and self-esteem.

Doctors treat a buried penis with surgery.


Contact the Department of Urology

To make an appointment with the Department of Urology, please contact a location near you


What Is a Buried Penis?

A buried penis, although normal-sized, gets hidden under skin or fat. Sometimes, the tip of the penis is still visible.

Some babies are born with a buried penis. The ligaments that attach the penis to other structures may have weakened. In kids, it often goes away on its own.

Adult-acquiredburied penis occurs later in life. It's most common in men who are morbidly obese.

Men with this condition may:

  • Have trouble peeing standing up.
  • Find they can't have sex.
  • Start having feelings of doubt or other mental health issues.
  • Suffer a lower quality of life.

Buried penis causes

Causes of buried penis include:

  • Morbid obesity — excess fat around the belly and genitals can cover the penis.
  • Genital lymphedema — lymph fluid may cause swelling around the scrotum, hiding the penis.
  • Scars — scars from prior surgeries can hide the penis.
  • Hidradenitis — lumps form on the thighs and belly where the skin rubs together, hiding the penis.
  • Trauma — blunt force trauma to the genital area (such as in a car accident) may cause swelling and scarring.

Buried penis risk factors and complications

The major risk factor for a buried penisis being morbidly obese.

Left untreated, a buried penis can lead to complications, such as:

Why choose the UPMC Department of Urology?

Our team has advanced specialty training in surgery to fix buried penis, led by Paul Rusilko, DO, FACS.

Buried Penis Symptoms and Diagnosis

If you think you have a buried penis, you should see a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating it.

Symptoms of a buried penis include:

  • Only the tip of the penis is visible.
  • Not being able to pee standing up.
  • Dribbling urine.
  • Not being able to have an erection.
  • Painful erections.

Diagnosing buried penis

Your doctor will first ask about your health history. and

They will be able to diagnose a buried penis with a physical exam. You won't need any tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Buried Penis Surgery

A buried penis is highly treatable with surgery.

Surgeons remove excess skin, fat, or scar tissue to free the penis.

Successful treatment will:

  • Improve the way the penis looks.
  • Restore urinary and sexual function.
  • Improve a man's quality of life.

Types of buried penis surgery

Surgery to treat aburied penis depends on its cause and your overall condition.

Possible techniques include:

  • Abdominoplasty removes fat and skin from the belly, also known as a "tummy tuck."
  • Panniculectomy removes the pannus — the excess skin and fatty tissue that hangs down over the genitals and/or thighs.
  • Escutcheonectomy removes the fat pad above the pubic area.

Doctors may also do a skin graft if the penis loses skin whey they separate it from surrounding tissues.

Lifestyle changes to help treat a buried penis

Because a buried penis often goes hand in hand with morbid obesity and affects a man's self-esteem, doctors may suggest:

  • Weight loss.
  • Nutrition and diet counseling.
  • Mental health counseling.

A buried penis may come back, especially if the underlying cause of obesity remains.

Learn More

Buried Penis Overview with Dr. Paul J. Rusilko