“In the rare event of an erection lasting more than four hours, seek immediate medical help,” cautions any of a number of E.D. drug commercials.
But what about an erection that lasts eight months?
That’s what 44-year-old Delaware trucker Daniel Metzgar says happened to him after he had a three-piece inflatable device surgically implanted into his genitals in 2009. He’s suing his urologist for malpractice in New Castle County (Del.) Superior Court.
The idea was for a pump in his scrotum to draw fluid from a reservoir inserted under his stomach wall, inflating cylinders inside the shaft.
Metzgar, who says his erectile dysfunction is a result of longtime diabetes, hoped the prosthetic would improve his sex life with his wife, Donna.
The device half-worked: He achieved an erection, but it wouldn’t go away when it was supposed to.
Such a condition obviously can result in uncomfortable and embarrassing situations.
Metzgar couldn’t ride his motorcycle. Going outside in the morning to pick up the newspaper risked treating the neighbors to an awkward display. He was forced to wear baggy pants and long shirts to camouflage his tumescence.
As Metzgar’s attorney Michael C. Heyden put it, “Dan is stuck in this position.”
“I could hardly dance, with an erection poking my partner,” Metzgar told jurors.
Metzgar’s urologist, Dr. Thomas J. Desperito, denied responsibility. His attorneys argued Metzgar should have known something was wrong after the surgery, when, according to the patient, his scrotum swelled to the size of a volleyball.
Instead he did nothing for four months. When he finally did come in, in April 2010, complaining of the constant erection and an infection, he was told to have the device removed, Desperito’s attorneys say.
Metzgar, who lost his health insurance in 2009 after the surgery, says he didn’t have the money to pay for the removal operation.
But he did get the prosthetic taken out four months later by another doctor after the tubing punctured his scrotum.
He claims scar tissue from the initial surgery has reduced the size of his penis by 50 percent and caused him to lose sensation.
Metzgar and his wife are seeking undisclosed damages against Desperito and his medical group, the Delaware News Journal reported.