About Melanie Watts, MD

Clinical instructor
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
22 08, 2016

Trick of the Trade: Paraphimosis – Pour Some Sugar On Me

paraphimosisParaphimosis occurs when a retracted foreskin can’t be reduced back over the glans of the penis. Risk factors for paraphimosis include scarring, vigorous sexual activity, chronic balanoposthitis, and forgetting to replace the foreskin after catheterization or manipulation.

Paraphimosis can be a urological emergency as the tight ring formed by the foreskin can cause ischemia to the tip of the penis and eventually gangrene. Timely reduction is of high importance. Treatment involves gentle compression of the glans and gradual manual foreskin retraction.1 Unfortunately, as time goes on, more swelling occurs making traditional reduction techniques more difficult.

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9 08, 2016

Trick of the Trade: Ocular ultrasound for the swollen traumatic eye

Eye swelling ocular ultrasoundYou are caring for a patient with an incredibly swollen eye – like a scene out of almost any Rocky film. This patient is likely going to the CT scanner, but regardless of the finding (retrobulbar hematoma, orbital wall fracture, etc.) you still need to evaluate for extraocular muscle entrapment and loss of pupillary response. There’s only one problem: you can’t see the eye. The old standards like getting the patient to retract their lid using paperclips or a cotton swab may help; but sometimes there is just too much swelling, and those techniques are just not enough. Without brute force – and potentially causing more trauma – you likely won’t be able to examine this patient’s eye.

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