Trans woman burns penis with chemicals so doctors remove it

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An Australian transgender woman had to undergo emergency surgery after she burned her own penis so that doctors would remove it and fulfill her dream of becoming a woman.

A case study detailing the wince-worthy incident was published recently in the medical journal Urology Case Reports.

“We present a case of self-inflicted chemical penile burn requiring emergency penectomy in a trans-feminine patient,” the authors wrote in the study.

According to the report, the 57-year-old unidentified trans woman had been assigned male at birth but felt she was born in the wrong body.

Doctors posited that she wanted gender euphoria but likely didn’t want to pay a major medical fee, so she reportedly attempted to burn off her manhood with chemicals.

As the study points out, gender-affirming surgery — which can involve replacing the penis with an artificial vagina — is not covered by Medicare, Australia’s national public health insurance.

Surgeon performs surgery.
Gender-affirming surgery is not covered under Australia’s national health insurance.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

As a result, patients must seek treatment within the private sector, which can cost an exorbitant amount of money.

While certain local clinics link patients with “allied health and primary care providers,” they often have long waiting lists.

It’s yet unclear what chemical process the patient used to mutilate her member.

However, when the patient arrived at the hospital’s urology department, she had necrosis (dead tissue) on the tip of the penis along with burns, swelling and redness along the length of the shaft.

Prior to her injury, she had also been undergoing androgen deprivation therapy — which lowers the levels of testicular hormones responsible for facial and body hair as well as voice deepening — but had ceased treatment after moving to a rural area, per the medical reports.

Doctor's smock with a transgender LGBTQ pin.
The trans woman had chemically burned her penis.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

After draining her bladder with a catheter and treating the wounds, medics discovered that the necrosis had fortunately not metastasized to the urethra or bladder.

For the next seven days, physicians treated the patient by applying gauze dressing, administering intravenous antibiotics and rerouting the urine flow.

That’s when the rot reared its ugly head: All was going well until one day when medics changed the dressing and discovered that the necrosis had consumed her penis.

Accompanying photos show the gangrenous member, which is almost completely black, as if badly frostbitten.

This dire development combined with “rising inflammatory markers” — which detect levels of inflammation that possibly indicate an infection or cancer — necessitated an “emergency penectomy,” per the study.

Normally used to treat penis cancer, the emergency operation saw medics amputate the dead penis and then create a urethral opening in the 1-centimeter stump that remained.

Surgeons operate on a patient.
An Australian transgender woman had to undergo emergency surgery after she burned her own penis so that doctors would remove it and fulfill her dream of becoming a woman, as detailed in a case study in “Urology Case Reports.”
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The presiding physicians kept as much of the urine tube as possible for use in potential future gender operations.

Medics then monitored the patient for eight days, during which they determined that she suffered no complications from the penectomy.

She was subsequently discharged and referred to a trans-surgery specialist.

In the US, half of the states and Washington, DC, specifically include coverage, or are in the process of extending coverage, for gender-affirming care under their Medicaid programs while coverage in 18 states is unclear, per the UCLA School of Law.

Meanwhile, seven states expressly exclude coverage of gender reassignment procedures, which span everything from hormone therapy to genital operations.

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