HEARTLESS conmen are injecting Vaseline or silicone into the penises of young men who falsely hope it will permanently enlarge them.

Doctors and nurses have told The Independent Online news that a number of men present themselves to the Vila Central Hospital weekly with complications.

One of Vanuatu’s leading medicos, Dr Jean Philippe King, said he had seen men who had been injected with Vaseline.

“I had to refer them to the hospital, there was nothing else I could do because they had to have surgery, which was not pleasant,’’ he said.

“The surgeon has to peel back the skin of the penis to remove the Vaseline, which forms together in an ugly lump.

“Doing these injections is very harmful and dangerous and they are definitely not a true medical procedure.

“And they certainly do not achieve any penis enlargement – in fact some men have reported that it badly affected their sex lives.”

Dr King said he had seen some men who had been injected and their penises had become infected.

“I believe this is not a new practice, although using silicone might be something new,” he said.

Another doctor who did not want to be named said he thought this dangerous non-medical practice might be more widespread in Vanuatu than people realise.

“There will be many young men who will not seek medical assistance because they are too embarrassed to admit they thought their sexual organ was not adequate,” he said.

“I know this sort of thing is also practiced in Asia and Africa.”

A nurse speaking on Facebook about the problem said she had worked in cosmetic surgery for more than 10 years in Australia.

“This is happening everywhere, not just in Vila,’’ she said.

“The number of procedures we had to perform to reverse issues caused by this was high even in Australia.’’

She said side effects included but were not limited to nerve damage, limited or loss of feeling, bacterial infection, hematoma, scarring, allergic reaction and deformity.

The Independent Online was told that a man in a “shop’ in Mele village performed the Vaseline injections regularly over a number of years and he had no medical training.

Other people said they had witnessed groups of young men visiting another penis injector every night opposite a church in Freswota and close to a nakamal. They said this person also had no medical training.

It is believed that these backyard butchers charge around VT20,000 for each injection.