A dementia patient's penis started to rot after he wrapped rubber bands around it for three days.
The unnamed man, 81, had to have emergency surgery after the end of the organ started to rot, while yellow and purple patches formed at the base due to a lack of blood flow.
Doctors said his penis could've fallen off if the bands had been left on any longer.
The excruciating incident, which was published in a medical journal, was discovered while the man was in hospital after suffering from diabetes-related complications.
His wife told medics her husband had had the bands on for about two or three days.
Surgeons at the University of Chicago Medical Centre in the US performed an emergency operation to save his penis.
They removed dead tissue using a hot wire and scalpels. His recovery lasted five days.
He was also forced to have a catheter inserted to drain a build-up of urine because he couldn't pee while the bands were attached.
Despite recovering from his horrific ordeal, the man failed to show up at the hospital for a scheduled check-up two weeks later.
His penis was so swollen the tip had begun to change in colour and shape. The skin was breaking down and had become gangrenous the Mail reports.
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A report published in Urology Case Report revealed the man's diabetes had caused extra damage because the condition increased circulation problems.
"The patient in our case presented with diabetic ketoacidosis and a likely history of uncontrolled diabetes," the report stated.
It went on: "The ischemic damage from strangulation compounded with poor blood flow to the ischemic tissue from the underlying diabetic vascular disease can lead to a progression to a necrotic or gangrenous state.
"In this case, the best management is early surgical intervention and debridement which can slow the progression of disease and reduce morbidity."
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Diabetic ketoacidosis is a potentially deadly reaction to low levels of insulin.
Dr Fardod O'Kelly, a urological surgeon at Beacon Hospital in Dublin, told MailOnline his penis could have fallen off if the bands had been left on longer.
"Strangulation cases like this are thankfully rare," he said.
"The veins and lymphatics become very easily compressed due to an increase in local pressure. This leads to severe pain and swelling.
"An organ like the penis could probably tolerate this for a couple of hours (if you don’t pass out with the pain), however eventually the pressure becomes too great and the arteries become compressed as well.
"This is important as the arterial compression means no blood flow in, and that means no oxygen supply, so the organ begins to die.
"In theory, if you left it long enough the penis could fall off, but I’ve never seen that happen."
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