South African Doctors Perform First Successful Penis Transplant

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The team at Stellenbosch University. 

A medical team in South Africa has successfully performed a penis transplant. And, yes, it is fully function.

The patient, a 21-year-old whose name is being withheld for ethical reasons, underwent the procedure on December 11, 2014. Three months later, his new member is now completely functional.

“Our goal was that he would be fully functional at two years and we are very surprised by his rapid recovery,” says Prof André van der Merwe, head of Stellenbosch University’s Division of Urology.

This is a very important breakthrough for the medical community around the world, but especially so in South Africa. In SA, many young men lose their penises from botched circumcisions. The 21-year-old patient’s penis had to be amputated three years ago when he developed severe complications. It is estimated that there as many as 250 amputations a year in South Africa. Understandably, this can cause psychological damage to the amputees.

“There is a greater need in South Africa for this type of procedure than elsewhere in the world, as many young men lose their penises every year due to complications from traditional circumcision,” explains Van der Merwe. “This is a very serious situation. For a young man of 18 or 19 years the loss of his penis can be deeply traumatic. He doesn’t necessarily have the psychological capability to process this. There are even reports of suicide among these young men.”

As a result of this study, 9 more lucky men will have a chance at a new penis.

via Stellenbosch University.