5 years ago

Penile allotransplantation for penis amputation following ritual circumcision: a case report with 24 months of follow-up

Ritual circumcision complicated by gangrene is a leading cause of penile loss in young men in South Africa. This deeply rooted cultural tradition is unlikely to be abolished. Conventional reconstructive techniques using free vascularised tissue flaps with penile implants are undesirable in this often socioeconomically challenged group because donor site morbidity can hinder manual labour and vigorous sexual activity might lead to penile implant extrusion. The psychosociological effects of penile loss in a young man are devastating and replacing it with the same organ is likely to produce the maximum benefit. Methods We first performed a cadaver-to-cadaver penile transplantation as preparation. After approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee was obtained, we recruited potential recipients. We screened the potential participants for both physical and psychological characteristics, including penile stump length, and emotional suitability for the procedure. A suitable donor became available and the penis was harvested. We surgically prepared the penile stump of the recipient and attached the penile graft. Immunosuppression treatment with antithymyocyte globulin, methylprednisolone, tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisone were commenced. Tadalafil at 5 mg once per day was commenced after 1 week as penile rehabilitation and was continued for 3 months. We collected on quality-of-life scores (Short Form 36 version 2 [SF-36v2] questionnaires) before surgery and during follow-up and measured erectile function (International Index for Erectile Function [IIEF] score) and urine flow rates at 24 months post transplant. Findings The warm ischaemia time for the graft after removal was 4 min and the cold ischaemia time was 16 h. The surgery lasted 9 h. An arterial thrombus required urgent revision 8 h after the operation. On post operative day 6, an infected haematoma and an area of proximal skin necrosis were surgically treated. The recipient was discharged after 1 month and first reported satisfactory sexual intercourse 1 week later (despite advice to the contrary). The recipient reported regular sexual intercourse from 3 months after the operation. An episode of acute kidney injury at 7 months was reversed by reducing the tacrolimus dose to 14 mg twice per day. At 8 months after surgery, the patient had a skin infection with phaeohyphomycosis due to Alternaria alternata, which we treated with topical antifungal medication. Quality-of-life scores improved substantially after the operation (SF-36v2 mental health scores improved from 25 preoperatively, to 57 at 6 months and 46 at 24 months post transplant; physical health scores improved from 37 at baseline to 60 at 6 months and 59 at 24 months post-transplant). At 24 months, measured maximum urine flow rate (16·3 mL/s from a volume voided of 109 mL) and IIEF score (overall satisfaction score of 8 from a maximum of 10) were normal, showing normal voiding and erectile function, respectively. Interpretation Penile transplantation restored normal physiological functions in this transplant recipient without major complications in the first 24 months. Funding Department of Health, Western Cape Government.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S014067361731807X

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