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First penis transplant recipient impregnates girlfriend

Doctors expected full function to return to the man's organ when the surgery was completed in December.

By Stephen Feller
After the first successful penile transplant was completed in December 2014, doctors may perform the next surgery as soon as August. Photo: Stellenbosch University
After the first successful penile transplant was completed in December 2014, doctors may perform the next surgery as soon as August. Photo: Stellenbosch University

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, June 12 (UPI) -- The recipient of the world's first penis transplant informed his doctors this week that his girlfriend is pregnant, further underscoring the success of the surgery.

Doctors announced the successful surgery in March, saying at the time that although his full urinary and reproductive functions had been restored, a full recovery would take two years, according to CNN.

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"This is what we intended, that he should be able to stand up and be able to urinate and have intercourse, so it is a milestone for him," Dr. Andre van der Merwe, head of Stellenbosch University's division of urology, told the BBC.

The 21-year-old man lost his penis after complications from a circumcision as part of a coming-of-age ritual when he was 18. Van der Merwe said he was not surprised the man had impregnated his girlfriend because his testicles had not been affected by the circumcision.

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Doctors say they have received many requests from around the world since the successful transplant, and that they expect to perform the surgery more often in the future. At the very least, they expect to perform it in South Africa.

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"There is a greater need in South Africa for this type of procedure than elsewhere in the world, as many young men lose their penises every year due to complications from traditional circumcision," Van der Merwe told News 24 Nigeria.

The medical team that performed the operation is still monitoring the man during as he recovers, and preparing for the next surgery, which may happen as soon as this August.

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