A 65-year-old man has lost part of his genital organs, two weeks after an operation to remove cancerous cells which had developed in his neck.
The consequences of a badly-placed catheter
The man in his sixties was operated after he developed cancer in his neck. In the 10 days following his operation, a ‘black-ish discolouration’ appeared on his penis according to a hospital report. Doctors noticed that the unlucky man, who had been admitted to King George’ Medical University Hospital in Lucknow, India, had developed an infection as a result of a badly-placed catheter (a tube inserted into the urinary canal to drain the bladder).
While the catheter was being placed, the inside of the canal was damaged and the man developed Fournier’s gangrene, a type of gangrene which affects the exterior genital organs and the perineum, in particular the scrotum. Two weeks later, surgeons tried to remove the part which was affected by gangrene and that’s when the penis 'autoamputated,’ meaning that the member fell off by itself.
An extremely rare case
This is the third such case that’s been documented in the world. The 65-year-old is now doing better but has to urinate with the aid of a tube. According to doctor Siddharth Pandey: ‘The patient had a [cancer] which might have contributed to him developing this condition.’ The doctor suggests in his report that the patient’s immune system had been weakened following his operation and that his age might also have been a contributing factor. Despite having lost his penis, the man is ‘doing better’ according to Dr. Pandey.