According to BloombergBusiness, there are about 250 penile amputations per year in South Africa due to complications after circumcision. The transplant, the second attempt with a penis and the first to be successful, yields promising results due to the surprisingly rapid recovery shown by the patient.
The patient who received the penile transplant is sexually active and will be able to have children if he chooses, Van der Merwe said. Doctors will monitor him for another three months before they operate on any of nine other men awaiting a penile transplant as part of a clinical trial Van der Merwe and his team started in 2010.
The first transplant took so long, in part, because families didn’t want to donate their relatives’ penises, he said.
“In South Africa, the law is even if you are an organ donor, you’re not allowed to harvest any organs from that patient unless the family consents,” he said in the interview.
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