The first successful penile transplant in the world was performed at the Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa by Stellenbosch University (SU) doctors. The success of this transplant could precipitate a flux of medical tourists to the country.
In a press statement, the university said the marathon nine-hour operation, led by Prof André van der Merwe, head of SU’s division of urology, was performed on 11 December 2014. “This is the second time that this type of procedure was attempted, but the first time in history that a successful long-term result was achieved,” the statement adds.
Three years ago the recipient’s penis had to be amputated to save his life after he developed severe complications following a traditional circumcision, the university says. The 21-year-old patient, has made a full recovery and his new organ has regained all function, it adds.
“Our goal was that he would be fully functional at two years and we are very surprised by his rapid recovery. The end result of the transplant was the restoration of all the patient’s urinary and reproductive functions,” says Van der Merwe.
According to the press statement, the hope is that the procedure could be extended to men who have lost their penises from penile cancer or as a last-resort treatment for severe erectile dysfunction.