In a world first, a UK man who lost his penis has had a new one built on his arm

In a world-first, a UK man who lost his penis after a severe blood infection has had a new one built on his arm.

The surgery was conducted by Professor David Ralph and the appendage was nicknamed “Jimmy” by its new owner.

penis, surgery, infection, world first, uk news
Image: Louis Wood/The Sun

Malcolm MacDonald has become the first man in the world to have a penis built on his arm after a horrendous blood infection made his original one fall off.

Mechanic Malcolm MacDonald was left “completely gutted”  after his penis fell off in 2014. The 45-year-old had been experiencing a long term perineum infection which developed into sepsis, turning his fingers, toes, and penis black.

“I had struggled for years with an infection in my perineum but I had no idea what could happen,” MacDonald described in an interview with The Sun. “It spread to my fingers and toes and turned them black. When I saw my penis go black I was beside myself, it was like a horror film. I was in a complete panic.

“I knew deep down it was gone and I was going to lose it,” he continued. “Then one day it just dropped off on to the floor. Because I had been through the devastation of knowing I was going to lose it, I just picked it up and put it in the bin. I went to the hospital and they said the best they could do for me was to roll the remaining stump up like a little sausage roll. It was heartbreaking.”

But there was still hope for MacDonald. His GP had told him about the “penis master”, Professor David Ralph, an expert in phallus construction at London’s University College Hospital. Previously, Professor Ralph had constructed a ‘bionic penis’ for Andrew Wardle, who was born without one. After an explanation of the arm-graft procedure, MacDonald was told it would take up to two years, to which he agreed.

The arm was chosen for the procedure due to its skin quality and sensation. MacDonald, who is right-handed, had a skin flap taken from his left arm, which was then rolled to form a penis with its own nerves and blood vessels. Professor Ralph and his team inserted a urethra and two tubes inflated with a hand pump, enabling him to experience a mechanical erection. The shaft was detached from his forearm, leaving the base to dangle so that skin and tissue could form naturally.

After the surgery, MacDonald “took to it so much” he nicknamed it ‘Jimmy’ – “that was what me and my mates called each other growing up and this penis was definitely my new mate.”

In 2018, after two years, it was finally ready to be ‘hung’ in between his legs, but after a series of delays – MacDonald being unwell, missing appointments due to transport mixups, and the COVID-19 pandemic – he is still living with it on his limb.

“Of course it is mad – having a penis on your arm, not even I am used to it,” MacDonald described. “But when you think about it, it’s actually amazing. That they can make me a new penis at all is incredible – but that they can build it on my arm is mind-blowing.

“It looks like something out of a weird sci-fi comic,” he continued. “But it’s my chance at a normal life. It’s been the first step towards being able to go to the toilet and even being intimate with someone.”