A Swedish man died after complications during a penis enhancement surgery, according to a report in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. The healthy 30-year-old man went to a Swedish clinic to get a penile elongation and girth enhancement surgery.

The operation included a process in which fat from his stomach was transferred to his penis. However, it appears as if part of the fat traveled to the man’s lungs, causing an embolism.

Image Credit: Patrick Salzgeber / EyeEm
Image Credit: Patrick Salzgeber / EyeEm

The man, which had no history of cardiovascular disease, suffered a cardiac arrest. He was given CPR but died two hours later. The study noted this is the first case where a penis enlargement procedure caused “sudden death in a healthy young man.”

Swedish man died after injected fat got into his lungs and caused embolism

The process began with the penis elongation, which involved plastic surgeons making an incision to loosen a ligament at the base of his penis. Afterward, the doctors began the enlargement portion of the surgery, in which they planned to inject two fluid ounces of fat cells.

But before they could finish the injection his heart began racing, his oxygen levels fell, his blood pressure plummeted, and he suffered a heart attack. Doctors believe that when the fat traveled to the man’s lungs, it ruptured blood vessels and caused a clot or an embolism, which led to the cardiac arrest.

Doctors performed CPR and sent him to an emergency room, but he passed away two hours later. The man, who had mild asthma but no other past medical history, died from a fat embolism, according to the authors of the new report.

Over 8,400 penile enlargement surgeries are performed around the world each year to increase girth, according to international plastic surgery statistics. It is the first time that a man dies during the procedure. However, experts warn that such surgeries often lead to other serious problems.

“It’s a completely useless procedure that never works and disfigures men, and could kill you,” urologist Tobias Kohler of the Mayo Clinic, who was not part of the study, told BuzzFeed News. “This is the worst case, but there are lots of other horrible consequences, from disfigurement to permanent erectile dysfunction to even worse.”

Kohler added that if you end up with something that nobody recognizes as a penis, that’s what they call “sub-optimal.”

Men who seek enlargement procedures often suffer from body dysmorphic disorder

The researchers of the report, on the other hand, claim that penile elongation and enlargement is considered to be a safe procedure. However, they warned that complications could be higher when both procedures are performed together.

An autopsy performed on the Swedish man showed his lungs were filled with blood and burst arteries. The cause of death was a lung embolism caused by the fat that ruptured vessels. Kohler told BuzzFeed the mechanism seems reasonable and it has become a worry in other procedures as well, such as butt lifts.

The American Urological Association has been warning patients against the procedure since 1994. The association claims that penile enlargement “has not been shown to be safe or efficacious.” A 2017 scientific review even found that the majority of men seeking these procedures have an average penile size.

That review suggested that most patients who seek penile enlargement likely suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, a condition that makes people unable to perceive their body accurately, similar to what people with eating disorders experience.

“Reverse anorexia” or “Bigorexia” consists of a preoccupation with not being sufficiently muscular or lean. Sports wrestling & body building athletes oftentimes present the condition, according to Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation. Image Credit: Adonis Effect
“Reverse anorexia” or “Bigorexia” consists of a preoccupation with not being sufficiently muscular or lean. Sports wrestling & body building athletes frequently present the condition, according to Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation. Image Credit: Adonis Effect

Enlargement surgeries only add 2cm of length to the flaccid penis

Sexual medicine consultant Professor Kevin Wylie told Daily Mail that studies that followed men up over a longer period have found disappointing results. For instance, experts have warned that procedures to increase girth only last up to a few years, and complications can include disfigurement, lumpiness, scarring, and infection.

Professor Wylie said the use of biodegradable frames has better results than fat injection in the penis.

“The problem with injecting fat is that over time, the body will re-absorb the fat, which can result in a return to the penis’ original size,” Wylie told Daily Mail.

He noted that penis enlargements could result in an average gain in length to the flaccid penis of about 2 cm, but there will be no change to the size of the penis when it’s erect. Plus, the erect penis won’t be able to point as high as before the surgery, as the cut ligament no longer offers support.

“A lot of men who have this treatment don’t truly appreciate this loss of angle,” said Wylie. “It can male sex quite uncomfortable. You’ve got to do a lot more maneuvering with your partner. The advantage of a 2cm gain in flaccid length is far outweighed by the loss of angle of erection.”

Source: BuzzFeed News