The world’s first penis transplant has been performed by surgeons in South Africa, Bloomberg News reported.
The 21-year-old recipient has made a full recovery and regained all functions in the transplanted organ. The nine-hour operation was done Dec. 11 by surgeons from Stellenbosch University and Cape Town’s Tygerberg Hospital, the university said Friday in a statement.
He received the donated organ harvested from a man who was declared brain dead.
The unidentified patient had his penis amputated three years ago in a procedure after he developed complications from a traditional circumcision. The procedure to remove his penis actually saved his life.
“Our goal was that he would be fully functional at two years and we are very surprised by his rapid recovery,” said Dr. Andre van der Merwe, head of the university’s urology division, who led the surgical team.
This was the second time this type of operation was attempted and the first time that lasting results were achieved, the university said.
A follow-up operation enabled the young man to urinate normally, without the aid of a catheter, and the doctors said his overall confidence had risen considerably since the procedure.
The man has made a full recovery – a result which the doctors did not expect to occur until about December 2016.
As many as 250 men are estimated to lose their penises each year in a secret and brutal initiation ceremony conducted by the Xhosa tribe in South Africa. During the month of June, which marks the start of a new harvest, thousands of boys are sent naked into remote areas to survive with little more than a blanket and meagre rations.