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MEDICAL

Penis enlargement ops linked to erection trouble

A dozen men in Sweden have suffered pain and erectile dysfunction after undergoing penis enlarging surgery, prompting one clinic to launch an inquiry into the use of the popular augmentation gel Macrolane.

Penis enlargement ops linked to erection trouble

The cases, reported from around the country, have come to light over the last year and a half, and at Akademikliniken in Stockholm, the treatment has been suspended pending investigation.

“Of course this will be reported, and we will get to the bottom of this,” said Jan Jernbeck, doctor at Akademikliniken. “But we have to know how many patients it concerns.”

He is now looking into the matter but is uncertain whether the complications are due to the substance or the way it has have been injected into the penis.

Some men have reported that following treatment the gel has spread unevenly and formed lumps, while others experience pain and erectile dysfunctions.

The manufacturer of Macrolane, Q-med, is meanwhile also being investigated by the Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket) for their breast implants which were said to complicate mammography examinations.

The investigatior Gert Bruse has said that Q-med had ordered an update of their user manuals, discouraging the use of Macrolane in penis enlargements. The reason is said to be the lack of clinical data documenting the effects.

“There is a clear lack of research in this area,” Bruse said. “Unfortunately.”

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ART

Stockholm’s giant penis mural to be covered up after complaints

A giant blue penis painted on a Stockholm apartment building is to be covered up after just one week, the company which owns the building has said.

Stockholm's giant penis mural to be covered up after complaints
The penis was painted in blue with a yellow background, perhaps reflecting Sweden's national colours. Photo: Photo: Hugo Röjgård/Graffitifrämjandet
Atrium Ljungberg said it had come to the decision after receiving a barrage of complaints about the five-story high depiction of a bulging erection.  
 
“Of course we care about artistic freedom, but at the same time we must respect the opinion of our closest neighbours,” Camilla Klint, the company's marketing head, said in a statement. 
 
“By letting it remain for a short period, we are offering anyone who's interested a chance to experience the work.” 
 
The company said that it had been given no prior warning that a giant penis was about to appear on one of its blocks. 
 
“On Wednesday morning, April 11th, we saw  Kollektivet Livet's new work for the first time, at exactly the same moment as all the other people who live on Kungsholmen did,” it said in its statement.  
 
Under their arrangement, the artist collective had total artistic freedom over the works it commissioned for the wall, at Kronobergsgatan 35 on the central Stockholm island of Kungsholmen.  
 
The decision will come as a disappointment to the artist Carolina Falkholt. Her first giant penis painting, which she plastered on a wall in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in December, lasted only a few days. 
 
She said on Wednesday that she expected her native Swedes to be more receptive. 
 
Atrium Ljungberg did acknowledge that many appreciated the painting. 
 
“Some people are positive about the work and see it as playing an important part in the debate around sexuality, the body and gender,” the company wrote.
 
“Others, particularly neighbours, have received the work less well, and experience it as offensive.”
 
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