Penile amputation is the removal of part or all of the penis.
A penile amputation is the total or partial removal of the penis from the body. It may result from injury, illness or aggression, but if the severed part is preserved, rewiring is possible with almost complete recovery of function. In some cases, amputation of the penis is performed through surgery for compelling medical reasons or as part of a transgeneration process. Overall, it is a rare occurrence in modern times.
Penile fractionation during sexual intercourse is the most common cause of penile injury.
In earlier times, victorious soldiers would sometimes amputate the penises of their vanquished opponents, serving the purposes of obtaining trophies and counting kills, as well as demonstrating the superiority of the victor. Although the practice is reported from time to time, even in the course of modern warfare, it has not become standard practice.
A surgical penile amputation – a penectomy – may sometimes be necessary to deal with certain conditions, always as a last resort. Certain forms of cancer can lead to penectomy, for example, and in rare cases, incorrectly performed circumcisions can result in a penectomy. Sex reassignment surgery, on the other hand, usually does not require a complete amputation of the penis, but rather the reforming of the penis into the components of a vagina. When this is not possible, a procedure called colovaginoplasty may be ordered, which requires the complete removal of the penis.
Circumcisions performed incorrectly can result in a penectomy.
Penile injury is the most common reason for a surgical penile amputation. Penile fracture or other injury during sexual intercourse appears to be the most common form of penile injury, followed by bullet and stabbing wounds, which occur most often during combat. Accidents during masturbation are also responsible for a significant number of penile injuries. The consensus is that penile injuries related to sexual activity are underreported due to the potential embarrassment involved, especially in cases of masturbation.
A severed penis can be successfully reconnected in 16 hours – longer if packed in ice.
A total or partial penile amputation may also be necessary in extreme cases of priapism, a painful condition in which the erection does not go down. Medical literature documents cases of priapism in men who take certain medications along with erectile dysfunction medications. In most cases, these erections can be reversed with less extreme measures, but a complete or partial penectomy may be indicated in extreme situations.
Many penile injuries are related to sexual activity, and many have not been reported.
Although still very rare, the most common form of penile amputation is traumatic. Typically, a crime of passion, committed by spouses or lovers in retaliation for lack of faith, occurs more often in underdeveloped countries than in the industrialized West. Every now and then a case will become famous because of some new element of the underlying circumstances. In the late 20th century, for example, an American named Lorena Bobbit, after what she described as an incident of marital rape, removed her husband’s penis with a carving knife and then threw the organ into the field. The sensationalist element of this situation was that the severed penis was recovered and reconnected, and her husband later reported that the organ had regained full functionality. A penis can be successfully reconnected in 16 hours,