Doctors in Papua New Guinea say a “nationwide problem” of botched penis enlargements is on the rise and drawing resources away from more pressing health issues.
Throughout the country, boys as young as 16 and men over 55 have reported penile disfigurement and dysfunction after injecting “foreign substances” into their penises, doctors say. These “foreign substances” include baby oil, coconut oil, and silicone.
Akule Danlop, a surgeon at the Port Moresby General Hospital, said that over the past two years he’s treated an average of five cases per week – and those are just the ones who have come forward.
Danlop said the effects are often irreversible and most men regret what they have done. He told The Guardian he’s seen “abnormal, lumpy masses growing over the penis and sometimes involving the scrotum,” while others have come in with ulcers that “eventually burst open,” making it difficult to urinate.
The epidemic, Danlop said, has drawn away resources from patients who require serious treatment.
“There’s cancer, there are other conditions ... It’s a bit frustrating to see these cases when you have other people who deserve [help] and then these people are causing themselves harm, they do it to themselves,” he said.