The first ever successful penis transplant has taken place in South Africa, after a nine-hour long operation. 

The procedure took place back in December, and allowing time for the patient to recover, the transplant was declared a success today by doctors at Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital in South Africa, where the operation was performed. 

The patient had lost his penis as a result of a circumcision that went wrong, but after the difficult operation they were able to state that his organ was now "fully functional". The patient had originally been given up to two years to recover, but Andre Van der Merwe, the lead surgeon for the transplant, said that they were surprised by the speed at which he recovered.

However, he added that while this was a groundbreaking procedure (one had been performed in China in 2006 but needed to be reversed), the donor and their family should get much of the praise:  "the heroes in all of this for me are the donor and his family. They saved the lives of many people because they donated the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, skin, corneas, and then the penis". 

Via The Verge. Main pic via Army Medicine/Flickr.