Few images are as universally cringe-worthy for men as that of a man limping with a 132-pound scrotum between his legs, struggling to walk as onlookers stare in amazement.
For five years, 49-year-old Wesley Warren was that man. He suffered from a rare medical condition known as "scrotal lymphedema," a form of elephantiasis that is caused by obstruction, aplasia, or hypoplasia of the lymphatic vessels that drain the scrotum, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH)
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The result is thickened skin around the scrotum, and ulcerations in severe cases such as Warren's.
Warren was able to have the 132-pound scrotum growth removed in April, the New York Post reported
. The operation was a 14-hour procedure, carried out by California Urologist Dr. Joel Gelman.
On Monday, TLC will be airing a one-hour special that recounts Warren’s painful story, "The Man With the 132 Lb. Scrotum."
In the special, Warren discusses living with the condition that forced him to wear a sweatshirt over his legs and scrotum while in public and the stares he would get.
"I was expecting to be stared at — if you look like a freak you expect people to look at you like you’re a freak," Warren told the Post in a phone interview from his Las Vegas home.
"I would only get upset when, every once-in-a-while, some person with no manners would stare at me and start laughing . . . and give me that ‘freak passing by’ look," Warren added. "That caused me in the past to say a ‘word’ or two with regards to rudeness . . . Besides, I was OK with the stares. That’s what I was expecting."
In additional to the stares, the pain caused by the overgrown scrotum was severe. Warren described it as "the worst pain I ever felt in my life," comparing it to "a sensational carpet burn" in his groin.
"It got so bad one day that I stood in my living room and cried," Warren told the Post. "It stung to no end."
The massive growth in his scrotum was also responsible for Warren's deteriorating health.
The extremely rare condition is more common in Africa and south-east Asia than it is in the Western world. The condition is caused by parasites.
Considering that Warren was unable to pay for the surgery himself, Gelman offered to perform the procedure free of charge as long as Nevada's Medicaid system covered the cost of using a hospital there, the Daily Mail reported
Despite being overjoyed that the growth was removed, Warren was unhappy with the reconstructive surgery, which left his genitals deformed.
"I do feel a great sense of comfort that the weight is no longer between my legs. . . But when I look down at what’s here now it’s not the same as what it was. It’s totally different," Warren told Britain's The Sun newspaper.
"My natural look prior to the growth is not what came out of surgery. What came out of surgery is a nub an inch long and it doesn’t get any larger."
Warren has reportedly been unable to have intercourse since the condition developed some five years ago, and according to the Post, he still doesn't have a girlfriend.
Warren tells the Daily Mail that he will be having further surgery later this month on his urethra, and hopes that one day he is able to fully recover from the ordeal and find someone to love in his life.
As painful as the five-year ordeal was for Warren, late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel recently attempted to find some humor Warren's scrotum plight
, airing a skit Tuesday night in which actor Josh Duhamel walked the streets of Los Angeles wearing a pair of pants with a sewn in set of enormous testicles.
In the skit, Duhamel comes to the rescue of a baby who is thrown from the window of a burning building by attempting to use his scrotum growth to prevent the child from hitting the concrete. Instead, the baby bounces off the growth and lands on a car half a block away.
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