World's first successful penis transplant: Tygerberg Hospital sets world record (VIDEO)
CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Surgeons in South Africa have performed the world's first successful penis transplant; the nine-hour operation, carried out by a team of doctors from Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, took place on Dec. 11, 2014, but was not publicly announced until recently while doctors waited to see how the patient would recover, according to the World Record Academy.
Photo: Surgeons from Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, performed the first successful penis transplant operation. Photo: Stellenbosch University(enlarge photo)
The Guinness World Records world record for the First successful kidney transplant was set by Joseph Murray (USA, 1 April 1919 – 26 November 2012) who performed the first successful kidney transplant on 23 December 1954 at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, USA.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the First successful partial face transplant, set by Isabelle Dinoire (France), who underwent the first partial face transplant at Amiens University Hospital, Amiens, France, on 27 November 2005.
Now fully convalesced, the hospital says the patient has regained all urinary, reproductive and sexual functions with his new penis. This came as a surprise to doctors, who expected him to take at least two years to recover.
The hospital did not identify the patient but did say the 21-year-old had to have his own penis amputated after he developed severe complications from his circumcision.
The hospital looked to medical teams that have performed successful face transplants for how to carry out this experimental surgery.
"We used the same type of microscopic surgery to connect small blood vessels and nerves, and the psychological evaluation of patients was also similar," said André van der Merwe, a professor and head of Stellenbosch University's division of urology, said in a press statement.
"There is a greater need in South Africa for this type of procedure than elsewhere in the world, as many young men lose their penises every year due to complications from traditional circumcision," Van der Merwe, a professor and head of Stellenbosch University's division of urology, said.
There are no formal records on the number of penile amputations that occur each year as a result of circumcisions gone wrong, but some experts estimate that doctors in South Africa perform about 250 amputations annually.
The medical team says penile transplantation surgery could also become an option for patients with penile cancer and perhaps even as a last-resort treatment for men with severe erectile dysfunction.