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Monday 20 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Stellenbosch University
# return to full function
World's first successful long-term penis transplant has been carried out
The operation was carried out in December and the patient has returned to full function.

SURGEONS IN SOUTH Africa have performed the world’s first successful long-term penis transplant.

A team of surgeons from Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital carried out the operation in December last year and are now able to reveal that the procedure has been a success.

The operation, which took 9 hours to complete, is only the second one attempted and the first one with successful long-term results.

Return to function 

The patient involved in the operation has now regained full function in the organ.

A number of males each year have their penises amputated after complications following the traditional circumcision procedure.

The patient is question is a 21-year-old man who had his penis removed in these circumstances. The procedure was required to save the patient’s life.

It is thought this happens to around 250 males in South Africa every year.

Speaking about this, André van der Merwe, head of Stellenbosch University’s Division of Urology, said:

This is a very serious situation. For a young man of 18 or 19 years the loss of his penis can be deeply traumatic. He doesn’t necessarily have the psychological capability to process this. There are even reports of suicide among these young men.


Preparation for the procedure to go ahead began in 2010 and the operation is part of a pilot programme aimed at creating a procedure that can be used within the South African health system.

The operation involved microscopic surgery that connected blood vessels and nerves.

It is hoped that the procedure will be extended to men who have lost their penises from penile cancer or as last-resort treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Read: Controversial doctor asked to come to Ireland ‘to instruct trainees how to give blow jobs’

Also: Turns out Irish women aren’t as sexually satisfied as men think 

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