After making history with Doctor Christiaan Barnard, South Africa was at it again after having performed the first penile transplant ever last year. The operation, which was carried out at the Tygerberg Hospital by the University of Stellenbosch in December 2014, was announced on Friday.
The University of Stellenbosch announced on Friday that on 11 December, they performed the operation on a patient who was in his late teens and that they had expected the full results to be fully evident after about two years but that the patient had recovered the full use of his member already. However, they were surprised by the extent of the man’s full recovery in this short time. A similar operation was attempted in China but after two weeks, the man asked the medical team to remove the organ, apparently after the man’s body started rejecting the organ.
Speaking in a statement released by the university, the head of Urology at the University of Stellenbosch, Professor Andre van der Merwe said the patient had been victim of a botched circumcision which had resulted in the penile amputation. According to the statement, experts had estimated that up to 250 penile amputations would result due to botched circumcisions in South Africa each year. In the same statement, the University revealed that it was preparing to do nine more operations of a similar nature.
Professor van der Merwe also announced that the big problem was to get organ donations. He said that the organ in their miracle patient had been donated by a man who had also donated other organs. The two men in question, the donor and the recipient could not be named for ethical reasons, the statement said.
This is not the first time that South Africa has made history in the medical field. In December, 1967, Christiaan Barnard made history by doing the first human to human heart transplant which received world reviews.