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Penis transplantation is a surgical transplant procedure in which a penis is transplanted to a patient. The penis may be an allograft from a human donor, or it may be grown artificially, though the latter is untested in humans. Peripheral transplant procedures such as hand, face, or penis transplant surgery are controversial because they are not necessary to ensure the life of the patient.
The first successful procedure was performed in September 2006, at a military hospital in Guangzhou, China. The patient, a 44-year-old male, had sustained the loss of most of his penis in an accident. The transplanted penis came from a brain-dead 22-year-old male. Although successful, the patient and his wife suffered psychological trauma as a result of the procedure, and had the surgery reversed fifteen days later. Following this, Jean-Michel Dubernard, famous for performing the world's first face transplant, wrote that the case "raises many questions and has some critics". He alluded to a double standard, writing:
"I cannot imagine what would have been the reactions of the medical profession, ethics specialists, and the media if a European surgical team had performed the same operation."
An example of a critic is Piet Hoebeke, a reconstructive urologist in Belgium, who wrote a letter that raised the question of whether or not ethics committees were involved, and criticized the group for the follow-up time of only 15 days, asserting that successful voiding at 2 weeks is not predictive of long-term outcomes, and even that inadequate arterial anastomoses might not manifest themselves in this time. The hospital which performed the first transplantation later issued a set of guidelines which amongst other considerations "recommended that the procedure be restricted to individuals with severe injuries who are unwilling to undergo traditional reconstructive surgery", according to a mini-review of the ethical issues surrounding penis transplantation published in the Asian Journal of Andrology.
In 2006, researchers succeeded in replacing a rabbit's penis with one grown in a laboratory. The penises were grown on a matrix from the rabbit's own cells, and contained nerves and blood vessels allowing them to become fully functional.