South Africa has a high proportion of young men who lose large portions of their penis in ritual circumcisions that go wrong.
Professor Andre van der der Merwe, urology specialist at Tygerberg Hospital unit, was moved after seeing the desperate plight of young men filling the wards every year. He became convinced he could successfully carry out the world’s first penile transplant. And, he did. The young man who received the first donor penis was an ideal candidate. He had a successful transplant and his partner even soon fell pregnant and gave birth to their first child.
Genital transplants do not just involve physical preparation, but also a detailed in-depth psychological work up. The patient needs to be able to handle living with someone else’s penis. The candidate also needs to be stable enough to ensure they will adhere to the necessary anti rejection medication he has to be on as long as he wants a fully functioning penis.
Prof van der der Merwe says losing a penis has such an enormous effect on men psychologically and they even consider suicide. He is delighted that the young man's whole demeanor has changed since the surgery.
Clikc below to hear Barbara Friedman tell the story...
This article first appeared on 702 : The world's first penile transplant successfully carried out in SA