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November 10, 1978

Annular Constriction of the Penis—The Tourniquet Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Boston

JAMA. 1978;240(20):2153-2154. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290200031008

To the Editor.—  Annular constriction of the penis in both men and boys is seen periodically by the physician.1-3 The constricting bands are placed on the penis for a variety of reasons, and the objects are many and varied, eg, ribbons, string, hair, rings, metal and plastic washers, rubber bands, metal nuts, and bottles. Patients come to the physician because they are unable to remove the object, because of the injury to the penis itself, or both.Serious injury including gangrene of the penis is usually the result of prolonged constriction. The following case history illustrates the use of more modern and commercialized constricting devices and the clinical problems associated with their use.

Report of a Case.—  One Thursday afternoon in March 1978, a 24-year-old unmarried man came to the Skin Clinic of the Boston Dispensary complaining that when he woke up that morning, his penis and scrotum were