In 1993, Lorena Bobbitt severed her husband John Wayne Bobbitt’s penis, fled the scene, and then flung the severed appendage out of her car window. She stood trial for the crime of malicious wounding but was acquitted by the jury. Her defense had been to allege years of marital rape and abuse gave her an “irresistible impulse” to strike back at her husband, according to the New York Times coverage of the trial.
John Bobbitt was also acquitted at a trial for the alleged sexual abuse, though that trial only pertained to the five days immediately preceding the mutilation.
In light of the new Lifetime movie I Was Lorena Bobbitt, on which Lorena serves as executive producer and narrator, you may be wondering what happened to her husband’s penis after part of it was severed. Here’s what the doctors who performed his surgery had to say about it.
WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO BELOW
The Injury Took the Doctor’s Breath Away
Dr. James Sehn, a urologist at Prince William Hospital in Manassas, Virginia, was awoken in the middle of the night by a call about Bobbitt’s emergency. Sehn was told “that a penis had been amputated and the organ was missing,” he told 20/20 in a 2019 interview.
Bobbitt’s other surgeon, Dr. David Berman, told ABC News that the emergency room doctor didn’t understand where the blood was coming from until Bobbitt dropped the sheet he was holding around himself.
“It was a kind of an out-of-body experience,” Sehn said of the first time he saw the injury. “It really takes your breath away to see this kind of disfigurement.”
Sehn also said that Bobbitt was “surprisingly calm, as if he didn’t even understand the extent of this injury and what the implications of it might be.”
The Reattachment Was Successful
When Lorena Bobbitt fled the scene and threw the severed penis out of her car, she went to her friend Janna Bisutti’s house and hysterically told her friend what she had done. Bisutti was able to figure out roughly where Lorena had thrown the severed appendage and called the police. They later found it in a field.
“They came out here not knowing really how much time they had, and looked at this field and thought, ‘There is no way we’re going to find it,’ and they did, just within a few minutes,” former Prince William County police officer Kim Chinn told ABC News at the time.
The officers took the severed penis to a nearby 7-Eleven where they put it on ice in order to preserve it as best they could before taking it to the hospital.
Dr. Berman told ABC News that the main focus of the surgery was to reconnect the arteries, veins, and nerves so that the penis would have sensation and blood flow. He compared it to reattaching a finger since he had never done a penile reattachment before.
“I’ve never seen a penile replantation,” he told 20/20. “They’re extremely rare … but I had done a lot of microsurgeries. So I’d put a lot of fingers back on, and … it was just this particular application was different.”
Bobbitt was in the hospital for three weeks after the surgery. He was able to have an erection after two weeks of recovery time.
In 2019, Berman said it was still “the most interesting and dramatic case I’ve ever done in my life.”
“It kind of really blew a lot of people’s imaginations away with what could be done,” he said.
I Was Lorena Bobbitt premieres Monday, May 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime. It is being rebroadcast May 26 at midnight, May 31 at 10 p.m., June 1 at 2 a.m., and June 6 at 6 p.m.