Dutch man bitten by snake on toilet undergoes reconstructive surgery
A man from the Netherlands had to have reconstructive surgery on his penis after suffering a bite from a cobra while sitting on the toilet.
The otherwise healthy 47-year-old was on vacation in South Africa at a nature reserve when the cobra struck from the toilet and clamped on to his genitals, according to the details published in Urology Case Reports .
The man waited three hours to be transported by helicopter to the nearest trauma centre, some 350 kilometres away, after suffering what the medical journal described as the first case of “snouted cobra envenomation of the genitals.”
During that presumably torturous wait, the victim reported feeling “a burning sensation in his genitals and a pain that ascended through his groin to his flank, upper chest, and abdomen.”
When he arrived at the hospital, his genitals were swollen and a deep purple colour, which doctors say indicated scrotal necrosis – more commonly referred to as “flesh-eating disease.”
He received multiple doses of a non-specific snake venom antiserum and broad-spectrum antibiotics, according to the medical report.
“The scrotal necrosis was reported to involve the entire fascia (skin to internal spermatic) and was excised with extensive margins,” read the report. “The defect in the penile shaft was treated by superficial debridement and a vacuum assisted closure pump.”
Nine days later, the man returned to the Netherlands where a plastic surgeon performed a “penile shaft debridement, with extensive resection of dead tissue extending into the corpus spongiosum to the fold of the preputium.”
Following that, a graft from his groin was placed over the penis.
He was discharged from hospital two weeks later.
In the man’s follow-up appointment, doctors found the wounds had successfully healed and function and sensation to his penis had fully recovered.