Skip to main content

Foreskin trapped by zipper: a case report


We present an 84 year-old-male patient with foreskin trapped by his zipper. After several failed attempts with scissors, screwdriver and others we practise an elliptic incision to resolve the problem. Foreskin injuries are frequent in children but are rare in adult men. There are some techniques described for solving the problem using scissors, screwdriver, traction and surgery.


Foreskin injuries are very rare in adult men, although it is frequent in children. There are some techniques to solve foreskin trapped by zipper.

Case presentation

An 84-year-old-Caucasian and Spanish-man presented at emergency service with a three hours history of a penile injury as his foreskin had been trapped by his zipper's pants (Figure 1 and 2). After several attempts, the patient could not release the foreskin of the zipper; he desisted and required an emergency evaluation by urologist as he had an intense pain with a mild haematoma and swelling. After several failed attempts using scissors, screwdriver and traction we decided to practise an elliptic incision (Elliptical incision on the skin of the penis and after continuous suture with absorbable thread) to resolve the emergency situation. Three weeks later a restitution ad integrum was observed, without urinary difficulty.

Figure 1
figure 1

We can observe foreskin trapped by zipper.

Figure 2
figure 2

We can observe foreskin trapped by zipper.


Foreskin injuries by zipper are relatively frequent in no circumcised children, however to the best of our knowledge, no cases in the elderly patient have been published in the literature, probably because patients achieves to release the penis of the zipper. The mean problem of this accident is the ischemia and necrosis of part of foreskin. Raveenthiran published a technique with a screwdriver to remove the zipper which has been used in 12 children successfully [1]. Mishra described a technique for releasing the foreskin of the zipper using ordinary wire cutter [2]. Others authors perform traction of the zipper [3]. It is usually ineffective the application of oil to sliding the zipper [4]. Finally elliptical incision has been described as definitive method [5]. All techniques described are suitable for solving the problem.


Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the journal's Editor-in-Chief.


  1. Raveenthiran V: Releasing of zipper-entrapped foreskin: a novel nonsurgical technique. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2007, 23: 463-464. 10.1097/01.pec.0000280505.37300.c1.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Mishra SD: Safe and painless manipulation of penile zipper entrapment. Indian Pediatr. 2006, 43: 252-254.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Nakagawa T, Toguri AG: Penile zipper injury. Med Princ Pract. 2006, 15: 303-304. 10.1159/000092995.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Kanegaye JT, Schoenfeld N: Penile zipper entrapment: a simple and less threatening approach using mineral oil. Pediatr Emerg Care. 1993, 9: 90-91. 10.1097/00006565-199304000-00008.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Mydlo JH: Treatment of a delayed zipper injury. Urol Int. 2000, 64: 45-46. 10.1159/000030484.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Miguel Angel Arrabal-Polo.

Additional information

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

MAAP involved in designing the manuscirpt, SAAS did bibliography review, MSGP involved in designing and writing the manuscript. MAM reviewed the manuscript. All authors have participated in the manuscript.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Arrabal-Polo, M.A., Arias-Santiago, S.A., Giron-Prieto, M.S. et al. Foreskin trapped by zipper: a case report. Cases Journal 2, 6345 (2009).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: