A team of South African doctors from Stellenbosch University (SU) and the Tygerberg Academic Hospital made history recently after performing a second successful penis transplant, making it the first medical center in the world to achieve this feat twice.
This comes after the world’s first successful penis transplant was done on December 11, 2014, at the same facility and by the same team of doctors.
Prof André van der Merwe, Head of the Division of Urology at SU’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), led the marathon operation of nine and a half hours.
The recipient, whose name was withheld for ethical reasons, is a 40-year-old male who had lost his penis 17 years ago due to complications after a traditional circumcision.
He is certainly one of the happiest patients we have seen in our ward. He is doing remarkably well. There are no signs of rejection and all the reconnected structures seem to be healing well,” said Andre van der Merwe.
The patient is expected to regain all urinary and reproductive functions of the organ within six months of the transplant, he said.
Jimmy Volmink, Dean of the FMHS, called the operation “a remarkable groundbreaking procedure” which is a testimony to the high level of skill and expertise that exists in the public health sector in South Africa.
Speaking on the first successful transplant, Van der Merwe said it’s about two years now and the patient is doing extremely well, both physically and mentally.
He added that he is living a normal life. His urinary and sexual functions have returned to normal, and he has virtually forgotten that he had a transplant.
According to Vanguard, Penile mutilation is more common in South Africa than elsewhere in the world due to complications of circumcisions performed as part of a traditional rite of passage to manhood on young men in certain cultures.
There is no formal record of the yearly number of penile amputations due to traditional circumcisions, but experts estimate that as many as 250 partial and total amputations take place country-wide every year, with suicides also being reported.
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