André van der Merwe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
André van der Merwe
Born1967/1968 (age 51–52)[1]
NationalitySouth African
Alma materRoyal College of Surgeons of England
OccupationUrologist, surgeon
Known forPerforming the world's first successful penis transplant

André van der Merwe is a South African urologist. He is currently head of urology at the University of Stellenbosch and an associate professor at Tygerberg Hospital.[2][3] He is best known for conducting the world's first successful penis transplant in 2014.[3][4][5] He also performed the first laparoscopic kidney removal in South Africa.[6][7]


Van der Merwe grew up in the town of Sutherland in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. His childhood dream was to become an astronomer. He is a fan of singer Barbra Streisand.[1]


As of 2014, Van der Merwe held the following qualifications: Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) of England, MRCS of Edinburgh, Fellowship of the College of Urologists of South Africa, a Master of Medicine in Urology, and a Master of Clinical Epidemiology.[2]


Apart from his positions at the University of Stellenbosch and the Tygerberg Hospital, Van der Merwe is a National Deputy Delegate for South Africa with the Société Internationale d'Urologie.[8]

As a urologist, Van der Merwe regularly performs kidney transplants.[5] In 2008, he performed the first laparoscopic removal of kidney in South Africa. The kidney was removed from a living donor to be donated to her sister. The duration of the surgery was four hours in total, which is longer than a traditional kidney removal. Van der Merwe said that the longer surgery time was offset by the much quicker patient recovery time.[6] Van der Merwe said that the new method of organ removal could attract up to 40% more donors than there were at the time.[7]

Penis transplant[edit]

On 11 December 2014, Van der Merwe led a team of surgeons through a nine-hour surgery at the Tygerberg Hospital, in order to surgically attach a penis from a deceased donor to an anonymous patient, who had to have his penis amputated after a ceremonial circumcision went wrong two years prior to the surgery (three years prior to the announcement of the surgery).[9] The surgery was announced by the University of Stellenbosch's faculty of medicine and health sciences on 13 March 2015. Van der Merwe predicted the transplanted penis to be fully functional in two years' time.[10] Van der Merwe was 46 years old when the surgery was announced. Following the surgery, some media outlets dubbed him "Dr. Dick".[1]


In 2008, Van der Merwe was awarded the Karl Storz Golden Cystoscope for the most outstanding young urologist in South Africa.[11][12]

In 2012, at the congress of the South African Urological Association, he received the Sanofi-Aventis award for urological excellence and outstanding service in furthering the practice of Urology in South Africa.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Collins, Farren (20 March 2015). "'Dr Dick' rises to the occasion". Times Live. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b "DR. ANDRE VAN DER MERWE". Experts in Stone Disease conference. 2014. Archived from the original on 22 March 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Penis transplant: man can now be a dad". IOL News. Health-e News. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  4. ^ Netto, Joseph (14 March 2015). "Doctors claim first successful penis transplant". CNN. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b Gallagher, James (13 March 2015). "South Africans perform first 'successful' penis transplant". BBC News. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b Caelers, Di (24 April 2008). "Keyhole kidney op a first for SA". IOL News. Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b "SA organ breakthrough". Die Burger. 18 August 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  8. ^ "National Delegates". Société Internationale d'Urologie. Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Penis transplant: Patient lost organ in botched initiation". News24. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  10. ^ "World's first successful penile transplant performed in Cape Town". News24. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  11. ^ "UROLOGY first amongst its peers". Stellenbosch University. October 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Urology staff members excel at the South African Urological Association (SAUA) Congress". News from Stellenbosch University. 6 December 2012. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2015.