Fournier’s gangrene is a rare and often fulminant necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum and genital region frequently due to a synergistic polymicrobial infection. This truly emergent condition is typically seen in elderly, diabetic, or otherwise immune compromised individuals. Here, we report an unusual case of Fournier’s gangrene due to excessive masturbation in an otherwise healthy 29-year-old male
How Common Is It?
Fournier’s gangrene is rare. While it’s more common in men, women and children also can get it.
The disease is most often found in men between the ages of 50 and 60. Men are 10 times more likely than women to have Fournier’s gangrene.
Treatment usually consists of the surgical removal (debridement) of extensive areas of dead tissue (necrosis, necrotic) and the administration of broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics. Surgical reconstruction may follow where necessary.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms include fever, general discomfort (malaise), moderate to severe pain and swelling in the genital and anal areas (perineal) followed by rankness and smell of the affected tissues (fetid suppuration) leading to full blown (fulminating) gangrene.
Rubbing the affected area yields the distinct sounds (crepitus) of gas in the wound and of tissues moving against one another (palpable crepitus).
In severe cases, the death of tissue can extend to parts of the thighs, through the abdominal wall and up to the chest wall.
This disease is commonly found in conjunction with other disorders (comorbidity), especially those that weaken the immune system.
Some disorders that increase the predisposition to Fournier gangrene are diabetes mellitus, profound obesity, cirrhosis, interference with the blood supply to the pelvis, and various malignancies.
Portals of entry for the bacteria, fungi, and/or viruses responsible for a particular case of Fournier gangrene are generally colorectal, urogenital or cutaneous in origin.
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