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Lessons learned from the world’s first successful penis allotransplantation

Abstract

We performed a successful penis allotransplantation on 11 December 2014. Sharing the lessons learned might help more patients in need to be treated this way. We divided the project into manageable segments that was each overseen by an expert. The ethical review and conduct paved the way for a publically acceptable and successful project. Screening for a psychological stable recipient is important. The most difficult part of the project was finding a donor penis. This was successfully negotiated with the family of a brain dead donor by creating a neo-phallus for the donor, thereby maintaining the dignity of the donor. Working with transplant coordinators that are sympathetic to aphallic men is crucial. Surgeons versed in microvascular techniques is a critical part of the team. Transplant immunologists have to adapt to treat composite tissue transplantation patients.

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Acknowledgements

We thank hospital management at Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa in particular Drs Dimitri Erasmus, our CEO, and Andre Muller for their support. Prof Ian Vlok form the Division of Neurosurgery is thanked for recruiting the donor to our transplant coordinator Sr Bertha Bailey. Sr Bailey is thanked for her major role as the “mother” of the males rendered aphallic and on our waiting list.

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Correspondence to Andre van der Merwe.

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Merwe, A., Zarrabi, A., Zühlke, A. et al. Lessons learned from the world’s first successful penis allotransplantation. J Mater Sci: Mater Med 28, 27 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10856-016-5836-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10856-016-5836-9

Keywords

  • Acute Rejection
  • Calcineurin Inhibitor
  • Corpus Spongiosum
  • Phaeohyphomycosis
  • Composite Tissue