This Man's Bionic Penis Means He Can Finally Have Sex For The First Time

B-D-S Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock

Katie Spalding 29 Jun 2018, 15:02

Modern medicine is amazing.

It can save lives, it can cure diseases, and – if you’re Andrew Wardle – it can give you a bionic penis.

Born with an incredibly rare condition called bladder exstrophy, Wardle, 44, of Manchester, England, had a troubled life. The anomaly – occurring in only one in 20 million births – results in the bladder developing outside the body, often also affecting the pelvis and genitalia. In Wardle's case, it meant he was born without a penis.

As a child, Andrew underwent many operations to treat the bladder issues associated with this birth defect, but continued to suffer from kidney and urinary problems well into adulthood. Without a penis, and with a life of constant medical interventions, he felt alienated from his peers, and as he entered puberty he descended into depression and drug abuse – even trying to take his own life on multiple occasions.

After doctors told him for years that his situation was hopeless, in 2012 he was finally referred to a specialist, and his luck began to change. Not only could his bladder problems be fixed, but he could get a brand new, state-of-the-art bionic penis as well.

In November 2015, Wardle had his first penis-building operation. Doctors built his new appendage from the skin, muscles, and nerves in his arm, as well as a vein in his right leg. The missing skin on his arm was then replaced with a graft from his buttocks. In a further operation in 2015 he received a penile implant consisting of a saline reservoir and a pump and release valve, and finally last Friday an internal cylinder was fitted, allowing Wardle to achieve an erection – meaning he can have penetrative sex for the first time.

Wardle can’t rush into this new aspect of life, though. Before he gets to test out his new hardware, he has to suffer a 10-day erection – and he must refrain from sex at all for six weeks. But he doesn’t mind: “I've spent 44 years without a penis and I've coped with not having sex for all that time…it's not the be-all-and-end-all,” he explained in an interview with MailOnline. And although it’s his bionic penis that has sparked the most publicity, Wardle says the real hero is his new bladder. “I think that saved my life more than my penis,” he remarked. “I didn't feel human.”

The price of Wardle's penis comes to £50,000, which, as he lives in the UK, was covered by the NHS (National Health System). But the true cost of his many surgeries is much higher: “Normally this surgery takes just three operations,” he explained. “But that does not take into account the other operations … I was talking to a surgeon in America and he said it would easily be worth a million dollars – the world's most expensive penis.”

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