Medical Biophysics Graduate Student Association


Updates, opinion pieces, and news related to the department

Tales From The Zipper

Anyone who has ever seen the movie "There's Something About Mary" will surely remember the hilarious yet cringe-worthy scene at the beginning when Ben Stiller's character get his...ummm...male parts disastrously stuck in the zipper of his pants. It's basically every man's worst nightmare (aside from a knife-wielding Lorena Bobbitt).

Well, it turns out that instances of penile entrapment in zippers is fairly common in children. A fairly recent publication (Indian Pediatrics, 43: 252-254, 2006) by Dr. Satish Chandra Mishra points out that "entrapment of the unprotected penis into the zipper is the most common cause of prepuceal injury in children." Wow. But surely there's something that can be done about this, right?

Don't worry, dear reader - there most certainly is. Dr. Mishra has perfected a technique that should bring sighs of relief to young children the world over. It's a simple 2-step approach that will hopefully become a part of the medical school curriculum from now on:

Step 1: Using an ordinary wire-cutter, make two transverse cuts into the two unzipped halves of the pants just ahead of the entrapped skin. Then make cuts laterally down the cloth along the tooth lines of the zipper.

Step 2: Next, using a pair of pliers, simply grip the zip-fastener very tightly, applying strong compression. The entrapped skin should be released instantaneously.

The bonuses of this method include: (i) relatively short time scale needed to complete the procedure, (ii) no messy mineral oil need be applied the local area, and (iii) no local anaesthesia need be administered.

There ya go gentlemen. There is now no need to buy only button-up jeans, or to lay awake at night, afraid to fall asleep because nightmarish zippers haunt your dreams. Sleep easy.

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