Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hardware use can kill tissue and call for amputation

Hardware use can kill tissue and call for amputation
Mar 29, 2009
The New Paper

SOME men will go to extremes for the sake of sexual stimulation. And they are not necessarily weirdos.

The typical penile strangulation patient could be someone standing next to you on the bus or a colleague in the next cubicle, say urologists.

Dr Chin Chong Min, senior consultant urologist at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, said men who put foreign objects on their private parts do so 'to enhance their erection, thinking that the simple way is to create a blockage'.

Professor Peter Lim, senior consultant urologist at Gleneagles Hospital, has seen many cases of penile strangulation in his 29 years of in urology. He estimates that Singapore hospitals see at least two cases a year.

And, he added, there are probably four or five cases that go unreported each year.

The patients could be Mr Average.

Said Prof Lim: 'They're not weirdos. They could be anyone, young and old.'

Most patients in such embarrassing situations are naturally sheepish about their condition. They are 'usually quite silent' when they first visit him, said Prof Lim. One patient entered his clinic one day in 1998 and declared, 'I did something stupid'.

Prof Lim said: 'That was the most honest thing I had heard (coming from a patient).'

The patient had placed a nut (as in nut and bolt) on his penis. 'He could have taken it off easily if he had tried to remove it earlier, but he had an erection and the penis ballooned,' said Prof Lim.

Doctors had to use an orthopaedic saw - usually used as a last resort - to remove the nut.

Prof Lim said: 'It's a crazy, stupid thing to do.'

So why do they do it?

'They want to get a sexual 'high'. It's a form of sexual deviation,' he said. 'They're not aware that it will strangulate the penile area. Congestion occurs and the penis becomes more and more swollen.

Deep trouble

'When they can't take it (the object) out, they realise that they're in deep trouble.'

Besides penile strangulation cases, Prof Lim has encountered unusual cases in which an object had made its way into unexpected places.

One rare case involved a patient who had put a closed safety pin into his urethra - a tube in the penis that discharges urine from the bladder - so that he could 'get sexually aroused', said Prof Lim.

But the safety pin slipped into his bladder.

Prof Lim used an instrument called a cystoscope to remove it.

Another patient had a bottle stuck in his rectum. The man did it 'to stimulate his prostate'.

That's because 'the G-spot for men is located at the back of the prostate', said Prof Lim.

In many cases, Prof Lim uses liquid paraffin as a first option to try to slip the object off the penis.

'But when it's very swollen, sometimes we have to use a saw,' he said.

Prof Lim added: 'In extreme cases, the penis can turn gangrenous and the whole thing can drop off because of tissue death. If so, it may have to be amputated to prevent serious infection which attract bacteria that can enter the blood stream - causing death from septicaemia (blood poisoning).

'Also secondary haemorrhage from open blood vessels at the grangrenous tissues can cause the patient to bleed to death'

Prof Lim, however, has not come across cases with such serious complications. 'It's not likely that anyone here will die from it. If the patient has a swollen penis and a raging fever, it's likely that he will seek treatment before it gets to that stage,' he said.

This story was first published in The New Paper.

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