Surgeons in Cape Town performed a nine-hour operation in which they successfully performed a penis transplant for a 21-year-old patient who had lost his penis as a result of a circumcision which had dire consequences for the man.
In South Africa, as many as 250 penis amputations occur on an annual basis.
The man lost his penis three years ago after circumcision complications lead to an amputation, according to a Sky News report which quoted lead surgeon Professor Andre van der Merwe as having said that the surgery was performed using “the same type of microscopic surgery” used in the first facial transplant to “connect small blood vessels and nerves”.
For the last five years, doctors at Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital have been planning the breakthrough surgery which Professor Merwe called “a massive breakthough.”
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.
Prior til now, the incredible surgery had only been attempted once. This recent attempt marks the first successful long-term result of the new surgical procedure for reattaching male genitals.
The ground-breaking operation was led by the head of Stellenbosch University’s Division of Urology. The successful penile transplant was performed on December 11, 2014 at Tygerberg Hospital in Bellville, Cape Town.
A report on the university’s website quoted Prof Jimmy Volmink, Dean of SU’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) as having said the procedure “is another excellent example of how medical research, technical know-how and patient-centered care can be combined in the quest to relieve human suffering.”
The identity of the patient is being withheld, protected for ethical reasons.
While experts hoped that the surgery would result in a fully functional organ within just two years, the man made what Van der Merwe referred to as a “rapid recovery” in which he’s already fully recovered and regained full functionality of his newly transplanted organ.
What are your thoughts on this ground-breaking penile transplant surgery’s success?