Calls for regulation of “dangerous” silicone injections

A Port Vila doctor has called for government regulation to control the use of harmful silicone injections and penis pumps in Vanuatu.

The injections and pumps are being used by some men to improve their sexual function.

Port Vila Central Hospital reports the use of silicone injections is on the rise, with three out of four men seeing the urologist each week suffering medical complications from the injections.

The hospital’s Urologist, Dr Richard Leona, says, “The use of silicone injections by men to enlarge their penises is now a big problem in Vanuatu.”

“The Government needs to quickly put in place a regulation or law around the use of these injections here.

“Silicone is a material that should not be inside a man’s body, because the body rejects the introduction of a foreign object and tissue inflammation and problematic swelling of the penis can occur.

“Sometimes it reaches a stage where the user cannot put his pants on and the injections can also damage the functioning of the urethra,” he said.

Dr Leona says the injections are causing marital as well as medical problems.

“The men who come to see me experiencing medical problems following silicone injections come from all walks of life and range from 20 to 50 years old,” he said.

“As a result of the injections these patients are often unable to have sex with their wives for some time.

“Some seasonal workers have been injected with silicone overseas and continue to use it in Vanuatu, with some using the injections as many as 20 times.”

Dr Leona says he has received information that silicone injections are available in Port Vila but he has no evidence to back up these reports.

He says major medical operations can be required to fix the damage caused by silicone injections.

“I have had to undertake four-hour operations to treat the medical complications and at times I have had to operate three times on the one patient,” he said.

Last year, Dr Leona, who is the only doctor in Vanuatu who operates to fix silicone injection complications, saw 65 patients with silicone injection problems.

Vanuatu’s Custom Department has warned seasonal workers that under Vanuatu’s Customs Regulation Order 113 of 2014, items such as penis pumps are not allowed into the country without evidence of a medical prescription.

The department is urging seasonal workers not to bring the illegal pumps into the country.

Dr Leona is appealing to seasonal workers to avoid the use of both silicone injections and penis pumps because of the damage they do to the body.

“Like the bible says, we have to treat our body like a temple of God,” he said.

“Men and women must look after their bodies so when they come back from overseas, they can be safely reunited with their families.”

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