Edina clinic gives men boners that won't go away


When men get the courage to see a doctor about problems keeping it up, the last thing they expect is to have trouble getting it back down.

Several men treated for impotence at Edina clinic Parnell Medical Group had just that problem after they used injected medications at home to get erections. Four to eight hours later, they were still hard and heading to the emergency room for treatment.

Local urologists say the patients received inappropriate and irresponsible care, according to the Star Tribune.

The Strib tells the stories of two men who rushed to the emergency room with long-lasting erections that weren't fun anymore. In October, Dr. Roland Ugarte, a doctor with Urology Associates, was called to Fairview Southdale to help a 33-year-old man who had taken an injection from Parnell.

Dr. Mark Fallen was called to the Fairview Southdale ER in September when a 55-year-old man had an erection that lasted eight hours. He had to use a large-bore needle to remove blood from the man's penis.

More from the Star Tribune:

Doctors called in by one hospital say the patients had been provided with excessive doses of medications, which they injected at home, resulting in erections that lasted for several hours.

No one at Parnell had the expertise to take care of them, the doctors say. As a result, one urology clinic filed a complaint in September with the state Board of Medical Practice charging that Parnell does not meet the community "standard of care.''

Parnell's clinic director, Brian Ahern, said in an interview that the clinic changed hands last October, and that no problems have occurred since then. The clinic has just hired a urologist who will become medical director, Ahern said. But that physician has himself been recently disciplined for alcoholism by the medical board, according to public documents.

Still, the physicians say that their complaint remains unresolved and that the clinic remains unequipped to handle medical complications if they arise. Meanwhile, they say, Parnell is taking advantage of a vulnerable group of patients who are unlikely to complain if something goes wrong -- men with impotence.

A more mind-boggling side of this story is that Parnell is a private clinic that doesn't take health insurance. The men could talk to their own doctors or go to a urology clinic where insurance would likely cover the cost of treatment. Parnell charges $200 just for the office visit and testing and an additions $125 to $250 for the medications.

Doctors say they aren't surprised because men are so scared to talk to anyone about the problem and see this as a one-stop solution. About 10 million to 30 million men suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED).

So what's so terrible about a neverending hard-on? Dr. Tony Makhlouf, a University of Minnesota urologist, tells the Strib that after three or four hours, an erection can cause permanent erectile dysfunction.