Doctors at Johns Hopkins University said Monday they have performed the world's first total penis and scrotum transplant on a USA military serviceman who was wounded in Afghanistan.
A team of 11 American surgeons has completed the world's first transplant of a penis and scrotum in a 14-hour operation of extraordinary complexity.
The doctors are optimistic that the man will regain urinary and sexual functions, including the ability to have an erection spontaneously and achieve orgasm, as nerves regrow in the transplanted tissue.
"We just felt that there are too many unresolved issues from morality,"says Dr. Damon Cooney, an employee of the University of Hopkins".
According to a 2017 report in the Journal of Urology, more than 1,300 male veterans had suffered genital injuries sustained during action from 2001 to 2013 in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The reconstructive surgery is the country's first total penis and scrotum transplant in the world.
The first penis was transplanted in China in 2006, but it was later removed due to "a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife", doctors said.
There had previously been successful penis transplants in 2014 in South Africa and 2016 in MA, "but they involved only the organ itself, not the scrotum or surrounding flesh", the Times notes.
While several penis transplants have been conducted around the worldover the past few years, this is the most extensive transplant ever done, because of the degree to which the explosive blast damaged tissue in the soldier's groin and pelvic region. The procedure saw an entire penis, part of the abdominal wall, and the scrotum (without testicles) transplanted from a deceased donor to an anonymous veteran of the U.S. armed services, who was injured in Afghanistan.
Three other successful penis transplants have been performed. The testicles would have contained the sperm from the recently deceased donor.
The procedure, which was not covered by the patient's insurance, was estimated to have cost between $300,000 to $400,000, the majority of which was covered by the hospital.
"We are so thankful to say that our loved one would be proud and honored to know he provided such a special gift to you", said the statement, read by Alexandra Glazier, president and CEO of New England Donor Services, which arranged for the donation. Many patients suffer in silence because of the stigma their injuries sometimes carry.
Patients can also lose a penis through cancer or other accidents.
The man lost his testicles in the explosion and did not get them restored as part of his transplant. "He is expected to be discharged from the hospital this week", Redett said. "Like, that's it, you're done, you're by yourself for the rest of your life".