Some doctors’ surgeries are overrun with men who have injected their genitals with an array of substances including silicon, coconut oil, baby oil and cooking oil.
A doctor in the country’s capital city Port Moresby said over the last two years his clinic had treated more than 500 men who were suffering the effects of ill-advised penis injections.
The results can be life altering, and range from painful ulcers which eventually burst, to swelling, and lumps on the penis and testicles, and in some cases lifelong impotence.
Speaking to The Guardian, Akule Danlop, a surgeon at a hospital in Port Moresby said: “The bulk of them have abnormal, lumpy masses growing over the penis and sometimes involving the scrotum.
“A good number are coming in with ulcers; they eventually burst open,” said Danlop. “Some of them have difficulty urinating because the foreskin is so swollen it cannot contract.”
He said he had treated boys as young as 16, and men over 55, and the picture was the same across the country.
“There are guys who are in respectable jobs like working at law firms,” he said. “It’s right across PNG, it’s not only in Moresby.”
He has had to operate on about 90 men to address swelling, abnormal lumps and to try and repair damage to erectile tissue.
“Predominantly they regret what they have done,” he said.
Mr Danlop also estimated the number of men who are undertaking these treatments is far higher than admissions figures indicate, as many men may be unwilling to seek medical help.
But the rising numbers coming to hospital is also problematic as they are draining medical resources.
“There’s cancer, there are other conditions [that need treatment]. It’s a bit frustrating to see these cases when you have other people who deserve [help] and then these people are causing themselves harm, they do it to themselves,” he said.
Last year the BBC reported the NHS is having to fix issues caused by DIY penis fillers in the UK.
Two of the UK’s largest cosmetic surgery groups for male sexual health said they have seen a massive increase in numbers of enquiries about penis fillers.
Two companies operating in the UK told the BBC in October last year they were receiving about 700 enquiries a month between them, compared to fewer than 10 a month in 2015.
At the time, Mr Asif Muneer, from the British Association of Urological Surgeons, said he would “discourage” people from having them, as they can lead to major complications.
“A lot of the time, we’re having to remove the whole penis shaft skin, and regraft it with skin from elsewhere in the body.”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies