An Iranian man was left with a stage of permanent semi-erection after he tattooed his penis with a dedication to his girlfriend.
The unnamed, 21-year-old man had the words 'borow be salaamat' (good luck with your journeys) inked on the shaft of his member.
He also had the letter 'M' - his girlfriend's initial - tattooed there, resulting in a condition called nonischemic priapism.
"In our case, most probably, the handheld needle penetrated the penis too deep, creating an arteriovenous fistula," the Daily Mail quoted doctors from the Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences as saying in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
A fistula is a connection between two organs or vessels that are not normally linked. In this case the connection was between an artery and a vein in the man's member.
"For eight days after tattooing, the penis was painful, and thus there were no erections", the doctors said.
"After that, the patient noticed longer-than-usual sleep-related erections. This progressed, within a week, to a constantly half-rigid penis, day and night," they added.
In a normal erection, the blood enters through the arteries and leaves through the veins.
But in a nonischemic priapism, blood continues to fill the penis faster than it can leave, meaning that pressure remains constant and the penis permanently erect.
Although the man had the option of selective arterial embolism - a procedure that blocks the offending artery, he chose to have a shunt implanted to drain the excess blood.
It was 'predictably unsuccessful' but the man was left with no lasting damage and now continues to live with his condition.
"Because of the painless nature of erections, moderately good preservation of erectile function during intercourses, and disappointment with former surgery, the patient has declined to undergo further therapies, and lives with his condition," the doctors wrote.
"Based on our unique case, we discourage penile tattooing", they added.
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