An unnamed 52-year-old Taiwanese man had half of his penis amputated after experiencing a painful week-long erection that felt like it was going to explode. He eventually visited a doctor who discovered that the erection was caused by a tumor associated with late-stage bladder cancer. The tumor had obstructed a blood vessel into the man’s penis, causing it to remain engorged with blood.
The man, who is not married, said that his erection began without any sexual stimulation whatsoever.
A painful hours-long erection is a medical condition known as priapism — named after Priapus, the minor Greek fertility god of gardens, livestock and male genitalia. Priapism can cause permanent damage to the penis’ erectile tissue and is usually treated by draining blood from the penis through an incision or a hypodermic needle to induce flaccidity.
In this case, doctors amputated half of the man’s penis, not only to alleviate the pain, but also to stop the spread of cancerous tumors elsewhere in his body.
The man had reportedly learned about his cancer diagnosis three years ago but had not sought out treatment until now. He began chemotherapy treatment after he had his penis amputated.
Stories of penile surgery over the last few years
The last few years have brought numerous stories of penile surgery, both good and bad.
In May 2016, a South African man who had lost his penis in a botched circumcision experienced the world’s first successful penile transplant. Similarly, in 2015, a U.K. man who lost his penis in a car accident received an eight-inch bionic penis which achieves erection via liquid-filled tubes.
Also in 2015, a 52-year-old Mexican man made headlines with stories of his 19-inch penis ruining his life, but those stories may have been fabricated.
Featured image by Flander via iStock