What is the role of anatomy in the progression of Fournier gangrene?

Updated: Jun 03, 2021
  • Author: Vernon M Pais, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Answer

The complex anatomy of the male external genitalia influences the initiation and progression of Fournier gangrene. This infectious process involves the superficial and deep fascial planes of the genitalia. As the microorganisms responsible for the infection multiply, infection spreads along the anatomical fascial planes, often sparing the deep muscular structures and, to variable degrees, the overlying skin, making the extent of involvement difficult to appreciate.

This phenomenon has implications for both initial debridement and subsequent reconstruction. Therefore, a working knowledge of the anatomy of the male lower urinary tract and external genitalia is critical for the clinician treating a patient with Fournier gangrene.


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