They transplanted what!?

They transplanted what!?

Warning: I strongly advise sensitive readers to skip this one.

South Africa has always been considered a world leader in transplant surgery, ever since Doctor Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first successful heart transplant in the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town in 1967. Apparently we’ve made history in this field once again…

Yesterday a team from Stellenbosch University’s medical faculty announced that on 11 December last year they performed the  world’s first successful penis transplant. According to one news website there are currently another nine patients awaiting the procedure.

I carry an organ donor card, and I know this procedure will mean a lot to men who had lost their equipment due to accidents or illness, but I do think I’m going to make a note on my organ donor card that mine is not up for grabs. I can handle another guy walking around with my kidney or my corneas (though I don’t know why anyone would want mine – they’re rubbish), but the thought of another dude walking around with that bit creeps me out big time.

What ever will they think of next?


Header image courtesy of the wife.

19 thoughts on “They transplanted what!?

  1. I read up to “Apparently we’ve made history in this field once again…” and then clicked the “Read more” to see the rest of the post. But before I looked, I decided to play a guessing game. I figured, okay, it’s not the heart. What else would be astonishing? No, I don’t think they’d have pulled off a brain transplant yet. So what did that leave me with? I guessed correctly.

    1. I didn’t consider it in that light. On the other hand, it sounds like this procedure is much more complex – a heart transplant is not primarily micro-surgery. Speaking of which, if I see one more post on Facebook making a crack about the surgeon needing “binoculars” to “see it” I’m gonna scream!

  2. Not up for grabs, eh? Snigger…
    On a serious note: I am all in favour of saving lives by transplanting vital organs. This, however, does not strike me as… uhm… vital? Of course, no man, alive, dead, catatonic would agree with me that The Organ is not vital, but come on, (!) surely a man can physically continue living without one? Physically, if your heart gives out, or your liver, or lungs or kidneys, you perish. Lose an arm, leg or, horror, the mighty peen, and you will still be alive (barring infections and other complications, of course).
    The feminist in me, albeit just a smidgeon, feel that this is an unnecessary waste of research resources.
    However, and that’s a big however, I do agree that it is ‘slightly’ hypocritical of me, since I think breast reconstruction after e.g. a double mastectomy as part of cancer treatment is completely ok, although many women opt to not have reconstruction done.
    As for human head transplants, now that’s a total mindf—.

    1. It’s not just about living without it, but quality of life. And quality of life is not merely a so-called “first world problem”, but a very real part of overall health care. It is even listed as an aspect in the World Health Organisation’s definition of health.

      Having to live without a body part that has such a great influence on how one defines oneself has an impact on a person’s psyche I can’t even begin to understand. You may not need it in the sense that you need a liver or a heart, but not having it makes one see oneself as somehow less than human. And yes, this is merely a perception, but perception plays a much bigger role than most of us would think.

      1. Perception is reality, absolutely. I do agree with you, hence my reference to breast reconstruction.

        I know, I know; why should you live without a body part if they can replace it and if it will mean your quality of life will be better than being without it. I agree.

        Just the feminist in me rearing its unkempt, angry head, which seems to get greyer and more intolerant/appalled of/by peens-behaving-badly (Grossly generalising. Of course there are decent men out there. I am married to one) the older I get, but that is totally off topic…

    1. Where were you when I was doing the post on head transplants two years ago? I’m not sure the conundrum applies here though. On the other hand, some people do love to point out that a man’s brain is located in his…

    1. The problem with older people having kids is the quality of the ova – women are born with all their egg cells and they become less viable over time – so I doubt a uterus transplant will make much of a difference.

      1. A twenty-five-year-old with a kid could walk into the street and be run over, a perfectly healthy seventeen-year-old could suffer a sudden fatal heart attack, and a person who has a child at sixty can live forty more years in perfect health and get to play with their own grandchildren. While your argument is valid, I don’t think one should over-simplify the issue this way, and once we start dictating who should and should not procreate we’re on a slippery slope.

        Also, thanks for commenting, but as this topic is so far removed from the topic of the actual post, I’m going to ask that we stop this particular conversation here. If you, or anyone else reading this, want to explore this issue further in a post of your own, you’re welcome to leave a link to that post here 🙂

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