Phantom erection after penis amputation

This paper appeared in the February 1999 issue of the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences:

Phantom erection after amputation of penis. Case description and review of the relevant literature on phantoms.

Fisher C. M., Neurology Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.

BACKGROUND: Perception of a phantom limb is frequent after an amputation of an upper or lower extremity. Phantom penis is reported infrequently.

METHOD: Case description and literature review.

RESULT: The phenomenon of phantom penis followed total penectomy. Several aspects were unusual, particularly the existence with phantom only in the erect state, and associated recrudescence of a preoperative painful ulcer. General features of limb phantoms after amputation are reviewed including a resume of recent studies of cortical reorganization. The phantom process is analyzed looking for clues to the nature of the underlying neural organization. The puzzle of phantom pain is briefly touched on.

CONCLUSION: The development of the phantom is attributed to activity in the deafferented parietal sensory cortex.

What could be more frustrating than having one’s penis amputated and then thinking that one has an erection?

(Via A Good Poop


  1. #1 Size
    August 29, 2007

    I can’t imagine. This is a fiendish variation on “I have no mouth, and I must scream.”

  2. #2 ian
    August 29, 2007

    that would not be a good position to be in i think.

  3. #3 Shelley Batts
    August 31, 2007

    There’s some good fodder on that site!

  4. #4 Jonathan Vos Post
    September 1, 2007

    Single Man with phantom penis seeks Single Woman with phantom vagina. Objective: love affair with more than a ghost of a chance…

  5. #5 Jonathan Vos Post
    September 1, 2007

    Severence Pain
    Jonathan Vos Post

    Sometimes after amputation the patient thinks he feels a phantom limb, same time,

    same place, same channel, where there is pale air only. A man with a splinter

    underneath his fingernail was driving to a doctor to extract it

    when a car crash cut his arm off. After the pain

    of the accident, he ached incurably from

    the phantom splinter in his

    phantom hand.

    [12 Sep 1974]

  6. #6 Chris
    September 9, 2007

    Hey, thanks for the mention. It seems like every time I run a PubMed search I find more good fodder for the blog. Cheers!

  7. #7 Tree Jay
    January 20, 2009

    Hmmm… a phantom erection?

    I suppose you’ll have to phanto masturbate.

    May I suggest using your phantom hand?

    (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  8. #8 Ajlouny
    April 1, 2009

    I can see this happening; you are so used to having it there, then through various reason, now it’s gone. It’s a mindset.

  9. #9 Tadlock
    August 18, 2009

    I am a MALE Massage Therapy student doing a report on amputation and came across this page I have to say I feel sorry for this man and you all should be ashamed for making such off color comments.

  10. #10 Pearly penile papules
    October 3, 2009

    Unlike women, men do not readily discuss personal medical conditions and disorders with their friends. It is for this reason that pearly penile papules are very misunderstood.

    It is not surprising that you would be plagued by worry and paranoia at the appearance of a bump on the rim of your penis. Immediately you would suspect venereal disease or even worse, cancer. The likelihood is that you do not have either, but rather a simple case of pearly penile papules. Pearly penile papules are very common among men, especially uncircumcised men. They are not as a result of bad hygiene and are not contagious in any way whatsoever. Many men actually find that they appear and disappear without any treatment at all.

    However, if you are feeling uncomfortable with them, they can be effectively removed with a simple treatment of radiofrequency surgery. You should however consult your doctor and have them seen to should they emit a discharge or are physically painful.

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