Penis transplants are no laughing matter. So reserve your sniggers for later.
You’d think such an important operation would have been successfully carried out a long time ago. But no.
Doctors in South Africa have been the world’s first to perform a penis transplant successfully on a man whose organ was amputated due to a botched circumcision.
“This is a very serious situation. For a young man of 18 or 19 years the loss of his penis can be deeply traumatic,” Andre van der Merwe, head of the university’s urology unit and who led the operation said in a statement, The Times of India reports.
Non-sterilised circumcision is a cause for worry in many parts of Africa and elsewhere. “There is a greater need in South Africa for this type of procedure than elsewhere in the world, as many young men lose their penises every year due to complications from traditional circumcision,” he added.
Some have even lost their lives.
The Xhosas in South Africa are one such tribe where each man who ‘comes of age’ must lose his foreskin. Experts have estimated that around 250 of these men lose their penises each year due to medical malpractices.
The lucky 21-year-old who underwent this successful operation received the penis from a deceased man who wished to donate his organs.
Imagine the trauma of a young man, losing his penis to the cultural obligation of ‘becoming a man’?
Ironic, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, “another nine patients will receive penile transplants as part of the study, doctors said, but it was not clear when the operations could be carried out,” TOI reports.