A man recently died while undergoing a penis enlargement procedure in Paris. Ehud Arye Laniado, a Belgian and Israeli citizen, reportedly suffered a massive heart attack just moments after an unknown substance was injected into his penis, according to Belgian media outlets. 

The Belgian diamond company that Laniado founded, Omega Diamonds, released a statement saying: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the news that our founder, Ehud Arye Laniado, passed away on Saturday, March 2, 2019. He was 65 years old. After living an exceptional life Ehud will be brought back home to Israel as his final resting place. He will be dearly missed by us all.”

In 2015, he was responsible for the sale the world’s most expensive diamond, the Blue Moon of Josephine, which went for $48.4 million. But money can’t buy confidence. An anonymous friend of Laniado told the Belgian GVA newspaper that he “always focused on his appearance and how others perceived him.” 

Urologist Koushik Shaw, MD, of the Austin Urology Institute in Texas, tells Health that penis enlargement procedures aren’t recommended by the American Urological Association. “They’re not typically done in traditional hospitals or surgical centers,” Dr. Shaw says. “They’re a little bit off the grid.”  

Though we don’t know the specifics of Laniado’s procedure, Dr. Shaw says it sounds like he could have been getting fat transferred from another part of his body to his penis (called an autologous fat transfer). You’ve probably heard of women getting fat liposuctioned from their thighs and then having it injected it into their breasts. Well, this is pretty much the same thing, but it’s injected into the penis. 

The problem is, the penis contains a lot of blood vessels. So if the fat isn’t injected properly, things can easily go wrong. “There have been reports of the fat cells being injected incorrectly and then getting transported into the vascular system of the penis, which can actually shoot up into the heart and lungs,” Dr. Shaw says. That could then cause a blood clot to block an artery in the lungs (called a pulmonary embolism) and could result in instant death, he explains.

Dr. Shaw says the anesthesia also could have caused Laniado’s death on the surgical table, if the amount given to him and his vital signs weren’t monitored properly.

We might never know exactly what happened to Laniado. But it’s a good reminder for the men in your life to avoid any kind of penis procedure that isn’t recommended by a board-certified urologist. 

For dudes who do struggle with size issues, there are safer options. Dr. Shaw recommends starting with something called a vacuum erection device, a manual pump that helps draw more blood to the penis to make an erection larger. These devices are noninvasive, and you can even buy them on Amazon. 

Another option is oral prescription medication, like Viagra and Cialis. These meds also increase blood flow to the penis as a guy gets hard, and they can make the penis look bigger than it normally does. Dr. Shaw says there are also similar injectable drugs that can be prescribed by a doctor.  

Finally, if all other treatments fail, there are penile implants, also called penile prosthesis. This is when a device is surgically placed inside the penis to help men with erectile dysfunction (ED) get an erection. 

“All of these things are low-risk, and somewhere within the buffet of options, one of them is going to work for you,” Dr. Shaw says. “If you’re having issues with ED or your size, make sure you’re seeing a board-certified urologist who has experience managing ED.” 

Of course, a guy who wants to upsize his member could also consider that maybe his size issues are all in his head, and he should leave his penis alone and not worry about it. Some dudes do have what’s called a micropenis—but this condition is super rare.

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