World's first successful penis transplant achieved in South Africa
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Surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa announced today that they carried out the world's first successful penis transplant. The surgery itself was completed 3 months ago and a review of the patient saw that the transplanted member had regained 100% function.
The recipient of the transplant is a 21 year old male who had to have his penis completely amputated after he developed complications following a traditional circumcision. Without amputation the man would most certainly have died in what is a common medical issue in South Africa because of widespread traditional circumcisions.
In December of last year he underwent a transplant which took about 5 years to plan. The surgery itself took a gruelling 11 hours to complete and doctors were expecting it would take up to 2 years for the patient to regain a significant amount of functioning given the pioneering nature of this procedure.
However, just 4 months later the man has regained all urinary reproduction functions in what is being hailed as a miracle transplant. Head of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery at Stellenbosch University Professor Frank Graewe spoke of his delight at the success of the transplant saying "It was a privilege to be part of this first successful penis transplant in the world".
Professor Andre van der Merwe, who led the surgery, shared the surprise of the team at the speed at which function was restored in the patient saying "We are very surprised by his rapid recovery. 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." He also added that the need for this type of surgery in South Africa is massive saying "Many young men lose their penises every year due to complications from traditional circumcision".