In a reminder that size does not matter as much as a person's health, a Thai man had his penis removed after olive oil injections caused a massive infection.
The injections, which are sometimes performed with beeswax, silicone, and paraffin, are an illegal procedure that used by Thai men in order to increase the size of their penises. Despite their common use, evidence has not shown that they work.
How the unidentified patient received the injections seems to be an issue of some confusion. Some report that the unnamed 50-year-old man received the injections 19 years ago, while others report that he was giving them to himself.
Whatever the source, the man suffered from an infection at the site of the injection. The Bangkok Post reports that the infection was caused by a cut on his penis, rather than the injections themselves, but typically, the procedure is the cause of these types of infections.
The man was too embarrassed to see the doctor that he waited for six months. Eventually, though, he saw a doctor, who found that his genitals had swollen to the size of a coconut. The doctor also informed him that he had developed cancer. The infection had grown so severe that doctors needed to remove his penis and testicles in a procedure that was the largest that the hospital had ever performed.
Doctors were able to bypass the man's urethra to his anus, allowing him to still have the ability to pee. However, doctors are not confident that the cancer will not return.
Sirikul Jiraranaikhajorn, a spokeswoman for the Police General Hospital in Bangkok, where the procedure was performed, said to the AFP that the health center treats about 40 men a year due to infections from the injections.
There is no evidence that the injections cause cancer, but that does not make them any less risky or unproven.