Today, I learnt that penis transplants are a real thing.
Limb transplants? Sure. Face transplants? Cool. Dick transplants? WTF.
Naturally, I had a lot of questions. And, after some intensive Googling, I now consider myself somewhere in the realm on an expert on the area.
This is everything you need to know…
Firstly, why would someone have this procedure?
So, it turns out it’s not an option for the under-endowed men out there who simply want to upgrade their junk.
But there are plenty of other situations in which a penis transplant could come in handy. Like where botched circumcision has caused extensive damage to a man’s penis – an injury not uncommon in South Africa, where ill-experienced people often carry out unsanitary procedures.
Or where the penis has been damaged or lost to an accident or trauma, an increasingly common occurrence among US army veterans wounded by improvised explosive devices.
Has a penis been successfully transplanted before?
The first attempt at a penis transplant was in China in 2006. A 44-year-old male, who lost his penis in an accident, underwent the procedure, but had the surgery reversed 15 days later due to psychological trauma.
The first successful transplant was in South Africa in December last year, when surgeons attached a penis to a 21-year-old man who had lost his due to a botched circumcision.
Surgeons from John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore are gearing up for the first US penis transplant. They plan to perform the surgeries on injured veterans and are currently awaiting a donor, the New York Times reports.
So where do they get the penises from?
The penises, much like any other organ, come from deceased donors.
They can potentially be artificially grown, though an artificial penis has not been transplanted onto a human yet (though experiments with rabbits were successful).