The medical feat which was performed on the 21-year-old recipient, in a nine-hour operation took place on December 11.
A statement by Stellenbosch university today revealed that the man – whose name was not revealed – has made a full recovery and regained all functions in the transplanted organ. His rapid recovery was a surprise to the doctors.
“Our goal was that he would be fully functional at two years and we are very surprised by his rapid recovery,” said Andre van der Merwe, head of the university’s Division of Urology, who led the team during the operation.
The patient had to amputate his penis three years ago after a traditional circumcision led to complications. Even though this was the second such penis transplant that has been tried, it is the first time that a successful long term result has been achieved.
Van der Merwe disclosed that the patient is now sexually active and will be able to have children if he so desires. He will however be monitored for another three months before the hospital decides to operate on any of the other nine men who are awaiting same procedure as part of a clinical trial started in 2010.
The success of the procedure will come as good news in South Africa, where there are as many as 250 penile amputations yearly.
South Africa is not new to setting the pace medically. In 1967, the first heart transplant took place at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.
Source: Bloomberg Business