An unidentified US soldier will be the first man to receive a penis transplant in the US. The procedure could occur in the coming weeks and will be performed at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The procedure will connect the nerves and blood vessels of the donated organ, taken from a deceased man, under a microscope. The said procedure could restore the soldier’s bodily functions like urination, sensation, and sex, leading the way to treating 60 other servicemen with genital injuries.
Losing a penis makes a man feel like losing his sense of manhood and identity, especially men who want to start a family. Advocate and former Marine medic Thor Wold adds that servicemen would often ask “Is everything OK down there, doc? My wife’s at home and we’re trying to have a baby when I get back.”
Richard Redett, a plastic surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital and who will be a part of the team that will perform the operation, says that replacing the scrotum, part of the abdominal wall, groin tissue and part of the inner thigh is also needed.
Apparently, the penis transplant will not affect the testes, which produces the sperm. Therefore, the baby will still be the recipient’s own offspring and not the donor’s.
Experts believe that this surgery will be of use to others besides wounded soldiers. This could be performed on men with congenital defects and even transgender men and women who wish to complete their transition.
The first penis transplant happened in China in 2006. However, the transplant was unsuccessful because the donor penis was later rejected by the body. The second transplant was performed in South Africa in 2014 to a 21-year-old recipient. The man, whose identity has not been revealed, lost his penis after a traditional indigenous South African circumcision went wrong. Surgeons said that operation was a success and the patient is now happy and healthy.