BOTCHED CIRCUMCISION: World's First Successful Penis Transplant Performed In South Africa

Professor Andre van der Merwe (L), head of the Stellenbosch University Division of Urology, and Professor Rafique Moosa (R), Executive Head of the Department, give a press conference at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, on March 13, 2015 (AFP Photo/)
According to AFP, South African doctors announced Friday that they had performed the world's first successful penis transplant, three months after the ground-breaking operation. The 21-year-old patient had his penis amputated three years ago after a botched circumcision at a traditional initiation ceremony.

In a nine-hour operation at the Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, he received his new penis from a deceased donor, whose family were praised by doctors. "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," said Professor Frank Graewe, head of plastic reconstructive surgery at Stellenbosch University.

"It was a privilege to be part of this first successful penis transplant in the world."

Doctors say the man, whose identity has not been disclosed, has made a full recovery since the operation on December 11 and has regained all urinary and reproductive functions.

"Our goal was that he would be fully functional at two years and we are very surprised by his rapid recovery," said Professor Andre van der Merwe, head of Stellenbosch's urology division.

Scores of South African teenage boys and young men have their penises amputated each year after botched circumcisions during rite-of-passage ceremonies. "There is a greater need in South Africa for this type of procedure than elsewhere in the world," Van der Merwe said in a statement.

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