Penile transplantations: Lessons for surgeons in trans care

Andre van der Merwe

Stellenbosch University

Prof Andre van der Merwe is HOD of the Division of Urology at Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital since 2015. He trained pre-graduate at Stellenbosch University(MBChB) and completed basic surgical training in London and Edinburgh (MRCS London/Ed). He completed his Urology training at UCT in Cape Town (MMED). He is a qualified clinical epidemiologist (MScClinEpi) believing the most difficult part of research is asking the correct, applicable and problem solving research question. He became internationally known after leading the project and surgery of the world's first successful penis transplant. He authored around 50 papers, 4 book chapters and is the editor of a book on percutaneous nephrolitotomy for renal stones (PCNL). He leads renal transplantation at his hospital and is also responsible for all aspects of this including creating vascular access; this creates a good basis for the creation of a penile transplant program. 


Autografts are a less than perfect substitute for a penis. Patients who needs a penis (for example after complete penile loss of trans care) are normally completely healthy and may tolerate the side effects of immune... [ view full abstract ]


We performed a proof of concept study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of penile transplant in a healthy male who lost his pendulous penis. [ view full abstract ]


We identified males who lost penis after ritual circumcision and after informed consent was taken, evaluated them physically and psychologically, similar to our renal transplant protocol. When a suitable brain dead donor... [ view full abstract ]

Main Outcome Measures

Tolerance of immune suppression including renal functionCosmetic acceptabilityErectile function Sensation [ view full abstract ]


The patient had two complications from which he fully recovered: He had reduction in renal function from tacrolimus and a fungal tissue infection, both reversed on the reduction of tacrolimus dose. Erectile function recovered... [ view full abstract ]


Penile transplantation is feasible and safe at 26 months post operative resulting in a near perfect penis substitute that is fully functional. [ view full abstract ]


  1. Andre van der Merwe (Stellenbosch University)
  2. Rafique Moosa (Stellenbosch University)
  3. Nicola Barsdorf (Univeristy of Stellenbosch)
  4. Frank Graewe (university of stellenbosch)
  5. Alexander Zuhlke (university of stellenbosch)
  6. Amir Zarrabi (university of stellenbosch)

Topic Area

Oral & Poster Topics: Plenary


PLS-2 » Plenary Session II: Public (18:00 - Thursday, 6th April, Pacific)