A team of surgeons from Stellenbosch University (SU) has successfully performed a second penis transplant, making it the first medical centre in the world to successfully perform this procedure twice.

The world’s first successful penile transplant was performed by Prof André van der Merwe and his team at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town on December 2014.

The second was done in 2016 at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in the United States of America.

World’s third penis transplant has been successfully performed on a 40-year-old man in South Africa by doctors from Stellenbosch University (SU) and the Tygerberg Academic Hospital in Cape Town.

The man had lost his penis 17 years ago due to complications after a traditional circumcision

Penile mutilation is more common in South Africa than elsewhere in the world due to complications of circumcisions performed as part of a traditional rite of passage on young men in certain cultures.

Van der Merwe, head of the division of urology at that university, led the nine and a half hours operation at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town on April 21.

“He is certainly one of the happiest patients we have seen in our ward. He is doing remarkably well. There are no signs of rejection and all the reconnected structures seem to be healing well,” says Van der Merwe, Health24 reports.

The patient is expected to regain all urinary and reproductive functions of the organ within six months of the transplant. A colour discrepancy between the recipient and the donor organ will be corrected with medical tattooing between six to eight months after the operation.

“Unfortunately we could not find a donor of the same race. In this case the donor is white and the recipient is black,” one of the team members Dr Amir Zarrabi told Health24, adding that the colour discrepancy will be later corrected with medical tattooing.

“This is a remarkable, ground-breaking procedure. I would like to congratulate the Tygerberg Hospital and the SU surgeons for doing such a sterling job. Traditional circumcision has claimed many young lives in South Africa. For this patient, life will never be the same again,” the report quotes Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, Western Cape Health Minister Say.