updated 9/26/2008 1:32:17 PM ET 2008-09-26T17:32:17

A lawyer for a Kentucky doctor being sued over the amputation of a patient's penis said Friday the procedure was "medically necessary" and authorized by the patient.

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Attorney Clay Robinson said Dr. John Patterson performed the surgery because the patient, Phillip Seaton, 61, had cancer.

Patterson was given permission to perform any medical procedure deemed necessary, Robinson said.

"Mr. Seaton had no reasonable option other than to have the cancer removed," Robinson said in a written statement.

Seaton and his wife, Deborah, sued in Shelby County Circuit Court over the amputation, which took place during a scheduled circumcision to treat inflammation.

The lawsuit claims Patterson removed Seaton's penis without consulting either Phillip or Deborah Seaton, or giving them an opportunity to seek a second opinion.

Robinson and Seaton's attorney, Kevin George, said postoperative tests showed that Seaton had cancer.

"Mr. Seaton's problem was not the surgery, it was the cancer," Robinson said.

The Seatons are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from Patterson, Commonwealth Urology and Dr. Oliver James, the anesthesiologist during the procedure.

The Seatons' suit is similar to one in which an Indianapolis man was awarded more than $2.3 million in damages after he claimed his penis and left testicle were removed without his consent during surgery for an infection in 1997.

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