- The Australian confessed that he used the batteries for ‘sexual gratification’
- He revealed that he had never had a problem removing the batteries in the past.
A man lost part of his penis after inserting three 1cm wide button batteries into his urethra.
The unnamed 73-year-old man from Australia waited 24 hours before seeking medical attention.
He confessed to doctors that he used the batteries for “self-gratification” and had never had problems removing objects in the past.
Sharing stunning details of the incident in a medical journal, doctors told how failed attempts to remove the 1.3cm-wide batteries only pushed them deeper into the urethra.
Button batteries release a corrosive liquid if lodged in the body, which can burn tissue and blood vessels within hours, causing serious internal damage and life-threatening bleeding.
Doctors who examined the man discovered that the opening of his urethra was stained black, while surgery later revealed that necrosis had occurred.
The incontinent 73-year-old man, who was not named, waited 24 hours before seeking medical attention. He later confessed to doctors that he used the batteries for “self-gratification purposes” and that he had never had problems removing them in the past.
In surgery, doctors then returned the foreskin to its original position after it became trapped by the batteries causing a tight band of constrictive tissue. They used forceps to remove the batteries individually and noted that he had suffered “extensive” burns to the outside of his penis. In the photo, an example of button batteries sold.
Doctors at Western Health Footscray Hospital, Melbourne, who treated him said he arrived at the emergency unit in pain and felt he could not empty his bladder properly.
Doctors attempted to grab the trio of batteries using forceps, a clamp-like medical device and other tools.
But writing in Urology Case ReportsThey said the patient “struggled to tolerate the procedure and abandoned it.”
They then operated on the man while he was under general anesthesia and successfully removed the batteries with tweezers.
Each of the batteries was coated with a “black tar-like material” and the man’s urethra had suffered “extensive” burns, they wrote.
He was given two weeks’ worth of antibiotics and discharged after three days as he was recovering well from the operation.
However, when he returned to the hospital 10 days later complaining of a swollen penis and discharge from the urethra, doctors rushed him into another operation.
His penis was cut off, causing a “large amount” of pus to leak out and revealing he had an 8cm section of dead tissue inside his shaft, which doctors removed, along with a section of his urethra.
The man, who suffered from erectile dysfunction for three years, also had a semi-permanent catheter fitted to help him urinate due to his injuries.
A follow-up appointment two weeks later showed he was healing as expected and the catheter was removed, replaced with a suprapubic catheter.
This is a semi-permanent device that is changed every four to 12 weeks. Instead of being inserted through the urethra, the catheter is inserted through a hole in the abdomen and then directly into the bladder.
He was advised against a complete penile reconstruction, which doctors estimated would take nine months, “given the complexity of his injury.”
In an article in the journal, doctors revealed that they believe this is the first case involving batteries and the removal of the urethra.
Insertion of batteries is “very harmful” and requires “clinical urgency,” they added, given the risk of battery acid discharge into the urethra.
When discussing the topic of urethral insertions in general, they noted that most cases involve objects such as wires, bones, cutlery, thermometers, and even worms.
But there is no typical standard of care protocol for how to treat “urethral foreign bodies.”