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Man with First Successful Penis Transplant Is Going to Be a Father

Man with First Successful Penis Transplant Is Going to Be a Father: Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University

It looks like one lucky young man will welcome a new member to his family, thanks to…well, his new member.

Only six months ago a 21-year-old South African became the recipient of the world’s first successful penis transplant. Now, according to BBC, the young man’s girlfriend is four months pregnant.

This comes as celebratory news for the surgical team that performed the nine-hour operation in December. Urologist and Stellenbosch University Professor Andre Van der Merwe, the team’s leader, said, “This is what we intended, that he should be able to stand up and be able to urinate and have intercourse, so it is a milestone for him.”

The young man lost his own organ three years prior, at 18, due to an infection brought on by a botched ceremonial circumcision. He was already sexually active at the time but was left with only 1cm of his original penis.

This is not entirely uncommon in South Africa, with the country in particular need of these kind of transplant surgeries. The Xhosa ethnic group regularly practices adult circumcision and poor sanitary conditions result in roughly 250 amputations each year.

This was also not the world’s first go at a penis transplant. There have been other attempts, even ones that by all initial accounts have gone well, but the recipients’ bodies have ultimately rejected the transplants. What helped make Dr. Van der Merwe and his team’s procedure a success was using techniques developed in the first face transplants to connect blood vessels and nerves.

Last year, researchers saw progress with lab-grown penises that used the recipient’s own cells in order to avoid organ rejection. That’s good news for you, if you ever lose your junk.

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