A Complication of an Unusual Sexual Practice

Jeffrey A. Summers, MD


South Med J. 2003;96(7) 

In This Article

Abstract and Case Report

A patient presented with scrotal cellulitis as a complication of infusing 900 ml saline into his scrotum. He had obtained a kit along with explicit instructions for performing the infusion through the Internet. This practice may be more widespread than expected. An Internet search revealed many references to this procedure, but a MEDLINE search showed virtually no information in the medical literature. Patients who are considering scrotal inflation, as it is called in the lay literature, should be warned of the potential complications of this procedure.

A 37-year-old man presented to the office with a painful, swollen scrotum. He reported that he had always had the impression that his genitalia were smaller than desired, and as a result he had searched the Internet for a solution. He found a web site that supplied him with a "scrotal inflation kit" consisting of a 1-L bag of saline, tubing, and needle-catheter combination. The stated purpose of using such a kit is the infusion of saline into the scrotum to cause significant scrotal enlargement. The patient had been told that the infused fluid would be reabsorbed during a 2- to 3-day period.

Unfortunately, the patient still had enlargement of the scrotum 4 days after the infusion, and it was quite painful. He stated that he had infused 900 ml fluid before the needle popped out of his scrotum. He was initially pleased with the results, but then he developed erythema and pain during the next 2 days. His request at the office visit was to have the fluid aspirated from his scrotum.

An examination revealed that the patient was afebrile. He had a greatly enlarged, erythematous, tender, warm scrotum. The swelling of the scrotum completely consumed his penis. He was promptly referred to a urologist, who prescribed cephalexin 500 mg qid for 7 days, and ultrasonography of the scrotum was performed. The ultrasonographic scan revealed diffuse scrotal swelling but no distinct fluid collection or mass. At 2-week follow-up, the patient's erythema had nearly resolved, and his scrotum was reduced to approximately 20% of its size at presentation.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: