WILMINGTON, Del. -- According to Daniel Metzga, he had a problem that wouldn't go away. The
Newark, Del., truck driver lived with an erection that lasted about
eight months -- a result of a botched surgical procedure by a
Wilmington, Del., urologist who performed a penile implant on him in
2009, according to a medical malpractice lawsuit being heard this week
in New Castle County Superior Court.
Wherever the 44-year-old
went, his condition got in the way, said Metzgar's attorney, Michael C.
Heyden. Retrieving the morning newspaper became a problem. Riding his
motorcycle was, too. Even family events became uncomfortable because, as
Heyden put it, "Dan is stuck in this position."
The source of the
issue was a three-piece inflatable implant, consisting of inflatable
cylinders inside the shaft of the penis, a fluid reservoir under the
abdominal wall and a pump inside the scrotum.
Attorneys for the
urologist, Dr. Thomas J. Desperito, argued during Monday's opening
statements that sometimes, bad medical results occur through the fault
of no one.
They suggested Metzgar should have known something was
wrong after he had the surgery, when, he said, his scrotum swelled to
the size of a volleyball. Instead, he didn't report anything amiss until
April. Metzgar said he'd been told there would be swelling, so he
thought it was normal.
Desperito's attorney, Colleen D. Shields,
insisted that four months after the surgery, the urologist told Metzgar
the prosthesis had to be removed when the patient complained of an
infection and that the erection wasn't going down. Metzgar, according to
Shields, didn't do anything for months after that visit.
who lost his health insurance after the December 2009 procedure, said
he didn't have the $10,000 Desperito wanted before he would do the
surgery. Shields dismissed that claim, saying Desperito wouldn't have
dealt with the money end of it.
Metzgar ended up getting the
prosthesis removed in August 2010, after tubing from the device
punctured his scrotum during a family trip to Niagara Falls. The family
drove back to Delaware, where he underwent surgery.
Metzgar and his wife, Donna, are seeking unspecified damages from Desperito and his medical group.
opted for the inflatable prosthesis after other measures failed to
treat his erectile dysfunction, which he said is a result of being a
longtime diabetic. But, he said, it did just the opposite, making him
feel less of a man.
"I could hardly dance, with an erection poking
my partner," Metzgar told jurors Monday when he took the witness stand.
The procedure caused him to retreat from much of life, and he took to
wearing baggy sweat pants and a long shirt to hide his condition.
"It's not something you want to bring out at parties and show to friends," said Metzgar, who wrapped up his testimony Tuesday.
testified Monday he has gotten a replacement prosthesis from another
doctor. While this device works, Metzgar said, the scar tissue from the
first surgery left his member about 50% smaller, and he does not
experience the same level of sensation.