Penile Allotransplantation for Complex Genitourinary Reconstruction

Nikolai A. Sopko, Sami H. Tuffaha, Denver Lough, Gerald Brandacher, W. P.Andrew Lee, Trinity J. Bivalacqua, Richard J. Redett, Arthur L. Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose Reconstruction of complex functional structures is increasingly being performed with vascularized composite allotransplantation. Penile transplantation is a novel vascularized composite allotransplantation treatment option for severe penile tissue loss and disfigurement. Three allogeneic human penile transplantations have been reported. We review these cases as well as penile transplant indications, preclinical models and immunosuppression therapy. Materials and Methods We performed a comprehensive literature review for the years 1970 to 2016 via MEDLINE®, PubMed® and Google with the key words “penis transplantation,” “penile rejection,” “penile replantation,” “penile tissue loss” and “penis vascularized composite allotransplantation.” Relevant articles, including original research, reviews and nonscientific press reports, were selected based on contents, and a review of this literature was generated. Results Three human allogeneic penile transplantations have been performed to date, of which 1 was removed 14 days after transplantation. The second recipient reports natural spontaneous erections and impregnating his partner. All 3 patients were able to void spontaneously through the graft's urethra. The complexity of the transplant is determined by how proximally the penile shaft anastomosis is performed and additional pelvic tissue may be transplanted en bloc if needed. Conclusions Penile transplantation is a technically demanding procedure with significant ethical and psychosocial implications that can provide tissue and functional replacement, including urinary diversion and natural erections. It is unclear how rejection and immunosuppression may affect graft function. Better models and more preclinical research are needed to better understand and optimize penile transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-280
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • graft rejection
  • penis
  • penis agenesis
  • tissue transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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