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Another penile amputation

July 3, 2014

After newborn circumcision

This has just appeared (June 2014) in Urology (click here).  Full text (Penile amputation) for those with access problems.  Warning – graphic pictures.

A poor boy in Pittsburg, USA, had his penis accidently amputated during circumcision with a Mogen clamp.  He was lucky to get to a centre where microvascular surgery was possible, the penis was reattached, and after a worrying time for all concerned, it appears to have survived.  Time will tell how it functions later.

But look how hard the authors had to work to make the case sufficiently original to justify publication. Amputation itself won’t do, nor  reimplantion, not even microvascular surgical reimplantation. All are too common;  only last year some Canadian urologists described a series of five amputations with two reimplantations (click here). The present case was apparently only worth publishing because it was the first time someone had reported using leeches to reduce the postoperative oedema.

It’s pretty obvious that even in developed countries these catastrophic complications are under reported (click here).  One dreads to think what is going on in mass neonatal circumcision campaigns in Africa.

Jim Thornton

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