Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Something You Always Wanted To Know, .... Or Did You?

So, when a guy gets his thing cut off by an angry girlfriend (note: buying flowers every now and then may avoid this) and gets it reattached, you got to wonder: just how long did he have?

This article at Slate goes into some gory detail about various appendages and members. First thing to know, get the blood supply going by reattaching the arteries. Then...
  • "You also need to reattach the veins, or blood won't be able to flow out of the severed part. Without a conduit for outflow, the body part will swell, which can cause tissue damage. When veins can't be sewn up right away, surgeons apply live leeches. A single leech can suck up 10 cubic centimeters of blood from a severed penis; a chemical in its saliva, hirudin, keeps blood from clotting and allows continued drainage."
'Um, did I hear you correctly? I hope I misheard you. Were those 'lazers' you mentioned? Oh, you did say "leeches?"'
  • "Leeches attach to the skin by two muscular suckers before biting with three teeth inside their anterior sucker. Blood is sucked into the stomach by peristalsis. Each leech will ingest nearly ten times its body weight in blood before falling off, engorged."
  • Even in the case of a clean cut, surgeons often remove some tissue to shorten the appendage. When the veins and arteries are stretched, tension on the stitches can jeopardize the procedure; shortening the severed part allows a bit of slack. In situations where significant shortening is undesirable, vein grafts from other parts of the body can provide some leeway.
Engorged. Falls off. Shortened. Oh my. Slate is having too much fun with this.

However, the leeches article is fascinating.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you have pictures?