The world's first successful penis transplant was performed by South African surgeons in a nine hour surgery on December 11 last year. Three months later, the patient is recovering well, and although complete sensation may take up to two years, the patient has been able to successfully pass urine as well as experience an erection and ejaculate.
The patient, an unidentified man, lost his penis three years ago when he was 18 during an unsuccessful circumcision. In South Africa, young men from the Xhosa people partake in a ritual circumcision when they reach the age of 18. This has led to hundreds of penile amputations each year from complications due to unsterile and improper instruments.
The surgery was headed by the head of the Division of Urology at Stellenbach University, Professor Andre' Van Der Merwe, and performed at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town.
The penis was obtained through a donor only after the doctors presented the family with a prosthetic penis, so that the man could be buried with something that looked like his own penis attached.
This surgery has been performed previously, yet never successfully. The closest to success was in China in 2006. However, ten days after surgery, the man in that case had the doctors remove the new penis as he was not able to adjust to it as his own.
The patient in South Africa has accepted this transplant and Professor Van Der Merwe stated, "He told me in no uncertain terms that the fact it belonged to somebody else is completely out of his mind and he's moved on with this as his own penis. That's absolutely the way we want it."
Van Der Merwe said that they are very surprised that the man has recovered as quickly as he has in the three months since surgery, as he is ahead of where they thought he would be at this stage. He said the patient was not having any considerable side effects from the transplant.
This incredible breakthrough surgical success could possibly be used for men who have lost their penis due to penile cancer.
It could also be used to help with cases of formidable erectile dysfunction from medications and other causes.
In South Africa, the loss of a penis can be a very devastating event and is often considered a death sentence to the men that have faced it. Young men have committed suicide and been shunned by the tribe due to these botched circumcisions.
There are currently nine men scheduled for a penis transplant surgery over the next several months. #Medicine