A 30-year-old man in Sweden died while under the knife for a penis enlargement surgery.
According to a report in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, the patient was a healthy man with no prior medical conditions other than mild asthma. But toward the conclusion of his penis elongation and girth enhancement surgery, the man went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead nearly two hours later.
An autopsy revealed discoloration in his lungs, and the cause of death was ruled to be pulmonary fat embolism, or a disruption to blood levels due to fat leaked within the vessels. When fat enters this tight blood stream, the body can't absorb oxygen properly, leading to fatality.
Since penis enlargement requires surgeons to take fat from another body part—the patient's abdomen, in this case—and inject it into the penis, there is a known risk of a blockage like this. Still, this is a rare medical incident, doctors say.
Though cleared by doctors, it appears that the key risk of the surgery was that the man had both the penis elongation and girth enhancement procedures back to back. Some of the fat meant to increase the girth of his penis leaked into the veins cut during the first procedure, which traveled to his lungs and killed him.
As noted in the report, this is the first reported death from a penis enlargement surgery. Still, medical experts warn people against this surgery altogether, citing a low success rate and risk of bigger health issues.
"It's a completely useless procedure that never works and disfigures men, and could kill you," urologist Tobias Kohler of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Buzzfeed. "This is the worst case, but there are lots of other horrible consequences, from disfigurement to permanent erectile disfunction to even worse."
Despite these risks and less-than-stellar results, about 8,400 penile enlargement surgeries are performed every year to increase a man's girth, according to international plastic surgery statistics.