Thu, Jul 08, 2004 - Page 5 News List

Thailand carves out unique niche in surgery

SURGICAL SPECIALITY The kingdom has become the world center for penis reattachment due to a potent mix of a tradition of polygamy, phallic symbolism and knives

AFP , BANGKOK

The phallus also plays a special role in Thailand as a symbol of personal vigor and prosperity, and carved wooden and stone phalluses are found everywhere from shop fronts to ship prows.

Wallop said this special symbolism also made it a prime target for a vengeful partner.

"It's not just about being practical and getting his mind off sex, it is like a symbol of potency so they cut off his power," Wallop said.

In another reported case this year, a bloodied Preecha Nasomyon, 31, was found by neighbors after he had an argument with his wife over an extramarital affair.

The fight ended with Preecha's privates being nearly completely severed by a large kitchen knife.

The distraught man refused to press charges against his wife and had his penis successfully re-attached by experienced surgeons.

Surasak said despite the damage done to patients such as Preecha, the recovery rate is surprisingly high.

"The operation success rate is 100 percent but I think only about 50 percent can again experience normal reliable function again," he said.

"The wife of one recovered patient complained her guy made love to her four to seven times an night and was waking her up at all hours because it only lasted two to three minutes," said Surasak with a resigned shrug, adding "we do our best."

He warned men who insist on being unfaithful to follow a few golden rules.

"If you have a mistress they [wives] will get mad and cut it any time, so make her very happy, always carry a thermos to put it in and keep the name of a good doctor close by," he said.

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