South African surgeons from Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital announced today that they performed the world's first successful penis transplant at the hospital in Cape Town on Dec. 11, 2014.
According to the Stellenbosch University website, the nine-hour surgery was led by Prof Andre van der Merwe, who heads up the university's Division of Urology.
The transplant was performed on an unidentified 24-year-old man who had to have his penis amputated when he was 21 in order to save his life after a botched circumcision, claims the university.
The man now has a fully functional penis, which matches the color of his skin.
"The patient accepted the penis as his own," Van der Merwe told ENCA. "He's told me that in no uncertain terms, you know, that the fact it belonged to somebody else is completely out of his mind and he's moved on with this as his own penis. That's absolutely the way we want it."
According to The Guardian, thousands of teen boys are circumcised by traditional doctors, some frauds, every year in South Africa. It's estimated that about 250 of these young people lose their penises in botched circumcisions.
Van der Merwe said on the university web site:
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.
The heroes in all of this for me are the donor, and his family. They saved the lives of many people because they donated the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, skin, corneas, and then the penis.