Back in March, we were floored to learn that a team of South African surgeons had performed the world’s first penis transplant after a nine-hour operation. Just six months after the surgery occurred, we come to you with an update: the transplant will soon be a father. The Washington Post reports that the unidentified patient’s girlfriend is pregnant. Mazel tov!
The 21-year-old originally lost his penis after a botched circumcision caused an infection. In South Africa, where Stellenbosch University urologist Prof. Andre van der Merwe and his team led the surgery, the practice of adult circumcision among members of the Xhosa tribe combined with poor sanitation means that as many as 250 men have their penises amputated per year due to infection and other complications. This historic surgery is one way to combat the psychological and psychological damage.
But not every penis transplant is as successful as this one: According to the Post, a Chinese patient was set to become the first successful recipient in 2006 until he asked his doctors to remove his new organ after 10 days because psychological trauma was too intense.
The South African patient reportedly has full urinary and sexual function. According to News24, the man is still under observation for potential improvements and could undergo more surgery as soon as mid-August.
The transplanted penis was donated (from who?!?!) but doctors have hope they may soon be able to grow full penises in the lab with the recipient’s own cells, which would avoid any chance of organ rejection. (I repeat: Full. penises. in. the. lab.)