A man in New York sought help from an emergency room after he injected cocaine into his penis. A report entitled “Penile Necrosis Associated with Local Intravenous Injection of Cocaine” and published in the American Journal of Case Reports revealed the man’s penis became swollen, discolored, painful, and produced a foul-smelling discharge after he injected cocaine into the penile dorsal vein.
“A 35-year-old Hispanic man presented to our Emergency Department with a 3-day history of excruciating and progressive penile and scrotal pain after having injected cocaine into the dorsal vein of the penis,” Haider Ghazanfar, Paola Valeria Espinosa, Cosmina Zeana, Sridhar Chilimuri, and Donald Rudikoff at the BronxCare Hospital Center wrote in the report. “He had immediate severe pain radiating to the inguinal region and right foot, accompanied by swelling and blanching of the dorsal aspect of the penis and necrosis and ulceration of the lateral aspect.”
In addition to the pain in his penis and scrotum, the unnamed man also suffered pain throughout the groin region and in his right foot. A physical examination “revealed ulceration and swelling on the ventral proximal penis and scrotum junction with foul-smelling serous discharge.” The man was in stable health otherwise, although he had a history of drug abuse, and this wasn’t the first time he had injected cocaine into his penis.
“His past medical history was significant for previous intravenous drug use,” the report continued. “He stated that he had previously injected cocaine in the dorsal vein at least 2 times in the past 2 weeks without any complications.”
The man refused all surgical remedies for his condition, including debridement to remove the dead and infected tissue. Instead, doctors turned to antibiotics and basic wound care. Luckily for the man, the treatment regimen proved effective, and his condition improved within two weeks. At this point, the patient refused further treatment and disappeared.
This is not the first known case of a man abusing his penis with cocaine. A 2004 paper published in the International Journal of STD & AIDS entitled “Cocaine-induced penile necrosis” told of a man with a history of dipping the glans of his penis in cocaine for 30 minutes at a time. He had done so three times previously before suffering severe black lesions that resulted in his visit to doctors. Like the patient who injected cocaine into his penis, this man also recovered following treatment.