Doctors claim first successful penis transplant

A team of surgeons in South Africa performed the transplant in December.

Story highlights

  • A marathon operation lasted about nine hours
  • Doctors used techniques, in part, developed for the world's first facial transplant
  • Patient had his penis amputated after a ritual, nonmedical circumcision.

(CNN)South African doctors have achieved what they call the world's first successful penile transplant operation.

The nine-hour operation occurred on December 11, 2014, involving a team of doctors at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town and others from Tygerberg Hospital.
The young man, whose identity "is being protected for ethical reasons," has made a full recovery -- a result which the doctors did not expect to occur until about December 2016. The recovery includes, "restoration of all the patient's urinary and reproductive functions," according to a university press release Friday.