Surgeons Successfully Transplant a Penis

South Africa team says it's the world's first successful one
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2015 12:59 PM CDT
Surgeons Successfully Transplant a Penis
The surgical team.   (Stellenbosch University)

Surgeons in South Africa are laying clam to the world's first successful penis transplant. In the nine-hour procedure late last year, a team from Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital gave the 21-year-old recipient his new penis, and they report today in a news release that it's working properly in every way well ahead of schedule. The patient had to have his original amputated after complications from circumcision. "It's a massive breakthrough," says SU's Frank Graewe. "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."

Doctors in China managed the same feat in 2006, but the procedure had to be reversed two weeks later because the penis was rejected by the patient's body, reports US News and World Report. Other reports from the time suggest the reversal was necessary because of psychological, not physical, problems. Either way, the South African operation is being hailed as the first long-term success, notes USA Today, and nine more men are scheduled to have the transplants. As you might expect, doctors say the recipient is "very happy" and is suffering no side effects. (Click to read about what a "normal" penis length is.)

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