Daniel Metzgar had a problem that wouldnâ€™t go away.
The Newark truck driver had an erection that lasted about eight months – a result of a botched surgical procedure by a Wilmington urologist who performed a penile implant 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 Metzgarâ€™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: â€œDan is stuck in this position.â€
Metzgar had a three-piece inflatable penile 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 Mondayâ€™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 December surgery when he said his scrotum swelled to the size of a volleyball. Instead, he didn’t say anything was wrong until April.
Desperitoâ€™s attorney, Colleen D. Shields, insisted the urologist told Metzgar the prosthesis had to be removed four months after the surgery when the patient complained of an infection and that the erection wasnâ€™t going down. Metzgar, according to Shields, didnâ€™t do anything for months following the visit in late April 2010.
Metzgar, who lost his insurance after the December 2009 procedure, said he didnâ€™t have the $10,000 Desperito wanted before he would do the surgery. Shields dismissed the claim, saying Desperito wouldnâ€™t have dealt with the money end of it.
He 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.
Metzgar opted for the inflatable prosthesis to help his love life when other measures failed. But he said it did just the opposite, making him feel less of a man.
â€œI could hardly dance, with an erection poking my partner,â€ Metzgar told jurors Monday when he took the witness stand. The procedure caused him to retreat from much of life, even wearing long baggy sweat pants and a long shirt to hide his situation.
â€œItâ€™s not something you want to bring out at parties and show to friends,â€ said Metzgar, who wrapped up his testimony today.
Metzgar testified Monday he has gotten a replacement prosthesis from another doctor. And while this device works, Metzgar said, the scar tissue from the first surgery left him about 50 percent smaller and he does not experience the same level of sensation.