8-month erection leads to malpractice lawsuit

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com  |  Updated June 17, 2013 at 9:02 AM
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Daniel Metzgar had an erection that lasted about eight months -- a result of a botched penile implant in 2009, according to a medical malpractice lawsuit being heard this week in New Castle County Superior Court in Delaware.

The 44-year-old truck driver had a three-piece implant, consisting of inflatable cylinders inside the shaft of the penis, a fluid reservoir in the abdomen and a pump inside the scrotum.

But instead of improving his love life, he felt like less of a man, wearing baggy sweat pants and a long shirt to hide his situation.

Wherever Metzgar went, his erection got in the way, according to his attorney, Michael C. Heyden. Family events became uncomfortable because, Heyden said, "Dan is stuck in this position."

"It’s not something you want to bring out at parties and show to friends," said Metzgar.

Attorneys for Wilmington, Delaware urologist, Dr. Thomas J. Desperito, said Metzgar should have known something was wrong after the December surgery when he said his scrotum swelled to the size of a volleyball. Instead, according to attorney Colleen D. Shields, he didn't say anything until April.

When Metzgar complained of an infection and an erection that wouldn't go down, Shields insisted the urologist told the patient that the prosthesis had to be removed.

But Metzgar, according to Shields, didn’t do anything for months following the visit in late April 2010.

Metzgar lost his insurance after the December 2009 procedure, and said he didn’t have the $10,000 Desperito wanted before he would do the surgery. But Shields dismissed the claim, saying the urologist wouldn’t have dealt with the money.

Metzgar ultimately had the prosthesis removed in August 2010 after the device punctured his scrotum during a family trip to Niagara Falls.

Metzgar testified Monday he received a replacement prosthesis from another doctor. While this device works, Metzgar said, the scar tissue from the first surgery left him about 50 percent smaller and he suffered a loss of sensation.

Metzgar and his wife, Donna, are seeking unspecified damages from Desperito and his medical group.

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