The team at Costhetics loves to talk about advancements in cosmetic surgery techniques that enhance a person’s quality of life. That’s why we are so excited to bring you news of a one-of-a-kind medical success in South Africa that may transform the lives of thousands of men who live there.
Although the surgery was completed several months ago, doctors waited to announce their stunning news to assess the patient’s recovery. The procedure is fascinating, and its applications will be far-reaching in both cosmetic and medical applications.
Costhetics Reports on First Successful Penis Transplant
In December of 2014, doctors at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town completedthe world’s first successful penile transplant.The experimental nine-hour surgery was only the second time an organ transplant of this nature has ever been attempted.
Back in 2006 a Chinese patient underwent successful transplant surgery. However, while the surgery was a medical/physical success, the man asked his doctors to remove the transplant after ten days. Physicians believed that the psychological trauma of the procedure was too much for the patient.
The South African patient, on the other hand, is delighted with his new organ, according to his surgical team. After just four months, he is enjoying full urinary, sexual, and reproductive functions. This was a surprise to the doctors, who anticipated that the recovery period would be closer to two years.
Happily, the patient is also coping with the psychological challenge of adjusting to a transplanted organ. He lost his penis three years ago at the age of 18, as a result of a poorly performed circumcision. Complications from these procedures are believed to lead to as many as 250 penile amputations each year in South Africa, along with thousands of disfigurements, some of which lead to suicide.
Doctors Come to Aid of Donor in Penis Transplant
With positive proof of long-term success in one patient, the surgical team reports that they have another nine prospective patients ready to receive donated organs in the near future.
Interestingly, the team’s work may be with both the recipient and with the donor’s relatives. As the surgeons learned, the appearance of a man’s sexual organ is meaningful even in death:
“To get the approval of the donor’s family, doctors had to fashion a pseudo-penis for him out of abdominal skin. That way he could be buried with something resembling a penis.” – The Washington Post
The Future of Cosmetic Surgery for the Penis
The future is filled with even more promise. According to a team of scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, men who need penile reconstruction could soon be given organs grown from their own cells in the lab.
Costhetics salutes the pioneers in cosmetic medicine for their tireless work helping men and women live better.