DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.464 ISSN:

102 An Audit of Phimosis Management at Primary Care Level

Q Z Siah, J Martin
  • Surgery



To audit the appropriateness of phimosis management and adherence to paediatric surgical referral guidelines at the primary care level against the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) recommendations.


A search of paediatric patients with diagnoses of phimosis, paraphimosis and Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans from January 2016 to October 2021 was performed at one General Practice (GP) surgery with a population size of 14,315 patients. Data on the frequency of urological symptoms reported, the medical treatment initiated, the number of paediatric surgical referrals and waiting times, and outcomes were recorded.


A total of 35 patients with ages ranging from 1-17 years old were included. The most common symptom reported was dysuria (n = 21, 60%). Twenty-five (71.4%) paediatric patients with phimosis were referred. The paediatric surgical referral waiting times ranged from 3–232 days (mean = 111.4). Fourteen of the referred patients (73.7%) who had been reviewed by the surgical team were diagnosed with physiological phimosis and discharged back to the GP. Thirty-two per cent of the referrals (n = 8) were done without trialling on topical steroids. In terms of potency, 53.5% of the steroids (n = 15) prescribed by the GP were weaker than is recommended by the RCS.


Variation in practice was seen in phimosis management, including the types of steroids initiated and decisions on surgical referrals. Only pathological phimosis generally requires a referral. Therefore, a clear management and referral pathway and additional training on phimosis management within primary care providers can help optimise the patient management and appropriateness of secondary care referrals.

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