For the first time, a team of US surgeons from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, has managed to transplant the penis and the scrotum from a deceased donor to a recipient who had lost his genital organs during armed service.
According to a report by Medical News Today, the surgeons had been planning such an intervention since 2013.
The successful transplant was performed last month on a United States war veteran who lost his genital organs after the unexpected explosion of an improvised explosive device, MNT reported.
“It’s a real mind-boggling injury to suffer, it is not an easy one to accept,” confesses the recipient, who prefers to preserve his anonymity.
The transplant, he says, finally gives him back a measure of confidence and stability.
“When I first woke up [after the intervention], I felt finally more normal… [and with] a level of confidence as well. Confidence… like finally I’m okay now,” he explains.
The surgery, which lasted 14 hours, was performed by a large team of doctors, anesthetists, and nurses led by Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee, the director of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
During the procedure, the penis, surrounding tissue, and scrotum — though not the testicles — of a deceased donor were grafted onto the recipient. This complex type of transplant surgery is called “vascularized composite allotransplantation.”
The surgeon also expresses his hope that the patient will make a good recovery, and that he might eventually regain both urinary and sexual function, almost to the full extent.