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Strange news: 22-year-old man treated for erection lasting seven weeks

A UK man recently suffered a seven-week erection, which is only kind of a laughing matter.
A UK man recently suffered a seven-week erection, which is only kind of a laughing matter.
Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Life is hard.

A 22-year-old man in the UK learned this lesson all too well as he was recently treated at a Dublin hospital for an erection that lasted seven weeks, according to a story posted today by The Independent.

The condition, known in the medical community as priapism, resulted from a mountain biking accident in which the patient “fell astride of his bicycle’s handlebars.” What sounds like every guy’s worst nightmare resulted in a possible dream-come-true scenario, except that the condition persisted for 35 days, and which point the man thought maybe something was up and he sought medical attention.

Presumably following a series of high-fives between the patient and his male doctors, the man's condition was initially treated with compression, but when a “special dressing” was removed after two weeks, the erection still persisted.

That’s when doctors had to give what was surely one of the most heart-wrenching bedside speeches in the history of medicine. They told the man they could try to remedy his condition through a procedure in which they would insert gel foam and four tiny platinum coils at “an abnormal artery and vein connection,” but the surgery would carry a small risk of impotence. After what must have been some serious soul-searching, the man opted for the procedure.

Candles were lit and prayers were said as the man went under the knife. Doctors were pleased with the surgery but knew their success would only be measured after the recovery period. Long, sleepless nights plagued the surgeons as they waited with baited breath to hear from their special patient. At long last, the phone rang. Dr. Ronan Browne, the doctor who performed the procedure answered with anticipation.

“I see. I see,” he said, showing no emotion as his colleagues gathered around him. “No, thank you,” he said, hanging up the phone. Pensively, he looked up.

“Satisfactory erection and intercourse!”

The hospital erupted in cheers.

“We were very happy with the outcome,’ Browne told The Independent. “It was an anxious time for the patient as it would be for any young man.”

According to The Independent, “Doctors said they could only find two other documented reports of unwanted erections,” although a number of other men suffering from priapism were rumored to have just shrugged their shoulders and told their doctors, “Naw, I’m good.”