The world’s first successful penis transplant surgery has been performed on a 21-year-old South African man who had lost his organ after a bungled circumcision.
The unique operation took surgeons nine hours to perform and connect all the nerves and blood vessels in the patient’s new organ.
The unidentified man has reportedly made a “rapid” recovery and has regained all functions in the organ. He is now able to urinate normally and become sexually active once again. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. A 21-year-old man has become the first person in the world to undergo a successful penis transplant, after a nine hour operation at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.
The man was forced to have his penis surgically amputated three years ago, after a botched circumcision.
Thousands of young men, mostly from the Xhosa tribe in South Africa, reportedly have their foreskins removed during traditional rituals, which cause an estimated 250 of them to lose their penises every year, after developing complications, according to experts.
The groundbreaking operation was carried out by a team of surgeons from Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, who used a penis donated by a deceased person.
The surgeons said that the procedure enabled the man to regain all function in his newly transplanted organ.
Nine more men are now scheduled to receive penile transplants.
Professor Andr├⌐ van der Merwe, the head of the University’s Division of Urology, expressed his surprise with the patient’s rapid recovery. He said:
Our goal was that he would be fully functional at two years and we are very surprised by his rapid recovery.
Professor Frank Graewe, a surgeons who assisted in the operation, added:
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.
It was a privilege to be part of this first successful penis transplant in the world.
2. As part of the procedure, doctors transplanted a new penis, donated by a deceased man. The pictures, left and right, show the veins and blood vessels they connected.
Professor van der Merwe said that an amputated penis is known to cause a serious adverse psychological effect on men. He said:
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.
Professor van der Merwe added that finding a donor organ was one of the biggest challenges to the procedures and called the man who donated his penis, as well as his family, “heroes”.
The surgery was performed as part of a pilot study to develop a penile transplant procedure which could be performed in a standard South African hospital.
The planning and preparation for the study began in 2010. Following an extensive research, Professor Van der Merwe and his team decided to use techniques developed earlier for the first facial transplant.
The surgery was the second one in which this type of procedure was attempted, but it is the one in history where a successful long-term result was achieved.
3. The world’s first successful penis transplant is announced by South African surgeons.
In 2005, a man in China received a transplant, but he asked the surgeons to remove his new organ two weeks later.
Professor Van der Merwe believes that the procedure could eventually be extended to men who have lost their penises from penile cancer or as a last-resort treatment for severe erectile dysfunction caused by the side effects from medication.
The South African Government praised the team of surgeons who performed the operation.
Dr. Beth Engelbrecht, the head of Western Cape Government Health, said:
We are very proud to be part of this ground-breaking scientific achievement.
It is good to know that a young man’s life has been significantly changed with this very complex surgical feat.
From experience we know that penile dysfunction and disfigurement has a major adverse psychological effect on people.
Source: The Daily Mail.
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