Another scrotal lymphedema sufferer, 57-year-old James Ortiz, said he felt like he was walking on the moon after surgery in 2008 to remove his 80-pound mass.
"I remember the first time I stood up without it," said a choked up Ortiz, who lives in San Marino, Calif. "I felt 1,000 pounds lighter and could finally put my legs together. It was amazing."
Ortiz, who feels like a "small fry" compared to Warren, said he used a makeshift harness to hold up his scrotum, which felt like a 1,000 pound steel ball. He, too, was unable to work, and said the condition also contributed to his marital troubles and subsequent divorce.
"At first my doctor said it was because I was overweight," said Ortiz, who currently weighs 515 pounds. "But I lost about 100 pounds, and my scrotum didn't change. In fact, it got bigger."
Gelman, who also removed Ortiz's mass, said men with scrotal lymphedema are often instructed to lose weight because doctors are unaware of the condition or uncomfortable making referrals for surgery.
"But the reality is, surgery is really the only effective treatment," he said.
Ortiz still needs surgery to reconstruct his urethra, which was damaged by his bulging scrotum. But he stressed that the operation to remove the mass was life-changing. Warren, too, said leaving the mass untreated for much longer would have been "suicide."
"One reporter wrote that I purposely turned down a free million-dollar surgery because I was enjoying the limelight," he said, alluding to an offer out of Athens, Greece, that he was unable to accept because of the travel expense and risk involved. "That I would choose fame and fortune over having the surgery, that is not true at all."
Warren said he's been saving up donations and his social security checks to cover the cost of his hospital and nursing home stays as well as post-op check-ups. He said he plans to set up a charitable foundation to help subsidize his care and eventually "morph into something beyond me and my needs into something that can really, truly benefit society as a whole based on educating people."
But first things first: Warren wants a decadent dinner of scampi served over fettuccini with a rack of lamb -- a departure from the mainly vegetarian meals served at the nursing home.
"It's all part of the pathetic life one has to deal with trying to recuperate from such a devastating handicap," he said jokingly, after asking the nurse for another dinner roll. But he quickly returned to his serious tone.
"I call Dr. Gelman my lifesaver, and I'm grateful to him and all those caring fans of 'The Howard Stern Show' that have supported me through this," he said.
"I cannot express," he added, with an emotional pause. "Enough cannot be said."