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16 January 2006
Penile Amputation – The Stuff Of Nightmares
by Paul A.

For the last two weeks I’ve written about the strange things men get up to with their dicks and some of the bad things that can happen. But what if the very worst thing happened? And I’m not talking exploding glans, penile degloving, or any of the other unspeakably bad things that can happen to an unsuspecting dick. I’m talking no dick. Zero… Amputation… Gone! Maybe you rubbed some hamburger juice on your dick as a party gag and called Rover out of his kennel. Or perhaps you cheated on your girlfriend who’s a little unstable and you’ve awoken from the anesthetic with a little piece of gauze where “Mr. Big” used to be. What’s to be done, or more precisely, what can be done?

Now it should be noted right from the outset that this is not an everyday occurrence. The vast majority of men die with the dicks they were born with. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t an important question. Penile amputation does occur, and when it does, it’s devastating. We men care deeply about our dicks, the loss of which would open up a hole as deep as our souls. How deeply do we care about our todgers? We’re talking the equivalent of a limb or two here, with maybe an eyeball thrown in for good measure.

So what happens when your dick gets lopped off? Well, that depends on the circumstances. Let’s go with the disgruntled lover scenario (not that uncommon in South-East Asia, by the way). The penis was cleanly severed and the severed section has been thoughtfully placed on the nightstand beside you. You may think the first order of business would be to pack severed member on ice. Wrong! The first order of business is NOT TO DIE. The penis is highly vascularised. It has veins and arteries running through it and when those veins and arteries are severed there’s gonna be blood. Lots and lots of it. If the severance took place while the penis was erect, you’d have only a few minutes to:

  1. Staunch the blood flow.
  2. Call 911. DO NOT drive to emergency yourself with your dick in a sandwich bag.
  3. There’s no number three. Your job is done.

Your priority here is to minimize blood loss. That means no running around fetching ice cubes and Tupperware containers. For one thing, the penis can’t just be thrown in a bag of ice. The penile tissue will cool rapidly, freeze and die. The penis must be wrapped in a towel first. All these sort of details are best left to the paramedics. They’ll be gunning for reattachment. We all will.

So, is reattachment possible? The short answer: yes. But there are variables of course. The detached segment must still be viable - obviously. With the exception of brain cells (oh-oh, I can feel a joke coming on here), human tissue can remain viable for hours, depending, of course, on the temperature. If your disgruntled lover tosses your dick into a thicket on a hot summer day, you might be out of luck. But never say never. Police found John Wayne Bobbitt’s penis in a field more than two hours after it was severed - on a warm summer night in Virginia. Recently in Anchorage, a woman cut off her lover’s penis and flushed it down the toilet. A whole team of police and local water utility workers were dispatched (we guys know an emergency when we see one) and the penis was recovered and reattached.

Now before you go slicing off your dick to get out of writing that exam, keep in mind that there are limits. You’ll need access team of surgeons competent in microsurgery. If the only medical help is ‘Ol Doc Patterson, who lives two hours away in Boondockville, you may be out of luck. Reattachment isn’t easy. Lil’ bitty veins and arteries have to be reconnected and they can’t be mixed up. A vein is a vein. An artery is an artery. Then there’s the tricky business of the nerves. Because the penis is part of the peripheral nervous system (as opposed to the central nervous system), there is a good chance of at least some of the nerves being reconnected. There is also the possibility of axon regeneration. It will likely never be complete, but given time there may well be enough sensation to achieve orgasm. Of the 17 cases I’ve studied, 14 (82 percent) achieved some return of sensation. Erections shouldn’t be anymore difficult to achieve than they were before, although in some cases they may never fly at full-mast again. But all things considered, that’s not so bad. If all goes well you’ll have a hell of a story to tell your grandkids.

Next week I’ll discuss what happens if Rover’s got your dick in his mouth and he’s not giving it up, no matter how much you call him a “good doggy”…

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