First successful penis transplant is a ‘massive breakthrough’
Doctors in South Africa have completed the first ever successful penis transplant. A 21-year-old man underwent a 9-hour operation on December 11, 2014 at Tygerberg Hospital in Bellville, Cape Town and has regained full function of his new organ.
From Stellenbosch University:
The patient, whose identity is being protected for ethical reasons, has made a full recovery and has regained all function in the newly transplanted organ.
“It’s a massive breakthrough. We’ve proved that it can be done – we can give someone an organ that is just as good as the one that he had,” says Graewe. “It was a privilege to be part of this first successful penis transplant in the world.”
Three years ago the 21-year-old recipient’s penis had to be amputated in order to save his life when he developed severe complications after a traditional circumcision. Although there are no formal records on the number of penile amputations per year due to traditional circumcision, one study reported up to 55 cases in the Eastern Cape alone, and experts estimate as many as 250 amputations per year across the country.
This procedure could eventually also be extended to men who have lost their penises from penile cancer or as a last-resort treatment for severe erectile dysfunction due to medication side effects. As part of the study, nine more patients will receive penile transplants.
Years from now, when they have perfected this procedure, I wouldn’t be surprised if they got requests for cosmetic instead of life-saving surgery.