Cape Town: The world's first successful penis transplant has been reported by a surgical team in South Africa. It was performed on 21-year-old-boy whose penis was amputated during a circumcision ritual which went wrong.
The nine hour operation , performed to attach a donated penis, occurred in December, was part of a pilot study by Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town and the University of Stellenbosch too help more than 250 young man who lose their penises each year during this life this ritual which also have claimed some lives.
Doctors said the patient, whose identity is protected, had already recovered full urinary and reproductive functions.
They also claimed that the procedure could eventually be offered to men who have lost their penis to cancer or as a last resort for severe erectile dysfunction.
Each year thousands of young South African men, mainly from the Xhosa tribe, mark their passage into manhood by participating in this ritual which involves shaving their heads and smearing themselves with white clay from head to toe. They have to live in special huts away from the community for several weeks, and then to undergo ritual circumcision.
But in May 2013, more than 20 youths died after botched up circumcision in the northerly Mpumalanga province, prompting rare cross-party calls for reform of a traditional practice.
A few months later, police made several arrests on suspicion of murder after 30 young men died in coming-of-age rituals in rural Eastern Cape. Unlawful circumcisions have been known to injure up to 300 young men across the province in the space of a week.