Melbourne: A group of surgeons in Taiwan have been studying the effects of electricity on penises by conducting the experiments on themselves.
The researchers conducted the study, titled "Determination of Human Penile Electrical Resistance and Implication on Safety for Electrosurgery of Penis", to find out the effects electricity had on penises.
Pioneered by Dr William T Bovie in 1914, it`s a relatively safe and hygienic method of cutting tissue using highly concentrated electric currents.
According to News.com.au, Dr Vincent Tsai, from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering in Taiwan, said it is not uncommon for patients to choose electrosurgery for penis operations such as circumcisions and the removal of hypospadias.
But to his knowledge, little research had been done into what extent it should be used on penises and just how much electricity a penis could take.
The only way to find out was to attach "surface electrodes the two ends of penis".
Taking into account that not all penises were created equally, the team also noted that the "impedance of the shaft" can be depicted by "some measurement and calculation".
Dr Tsai said the main concern with penile electrosurgery was the potential to injure nerve and vessel tissue required for erectile function.
Field cases have found injuries can range from thrombosis to six days of paralysis to three weeks of disability and something called "nerve longitudinal split of axis cylinder".
"We would like to remind our colleagues that we should be careful when doing ES on patients`` penis," the Herald Sun quoted him as saying.
"Potential and subclinical injury to erectile tissue caused by electrosurgery on the penis cannot be underestimated," he added.
He suggested surgeons consider using less power and for shorter lengths of time, or just switching to modern laser therapy.
And despite the alarming potential, Dr Tsai said no penises were harmed during the course of the experiment.