U.S. Veteran receives world’s first penis and scrotum transplant

The world’s fourth penis and scrotum transplant has successfully taken place at John Hopkins Hospital on a US Army Veteran. It is, however, the first and largest organ transplant to have been successfully executed, with a surprising transplant that included the lower part of the abdomen, the entire penis and scrotum, the donator is a deceased donor that apparently has helped an unnamed US Army Veteran.

The operation took place back in March and it was 14 hours long. However, just this Monday Dr. Richard Redett confirmed that so far the operation appears to have been completely successful, with the patient’s recovery process being a milestone as it progresses. Doctors stated that it is still to be determined if the patient could effectively urinate, but it is guaranteed that sensitivity and a thorough sensation is to be gained within 6 months of recovery.

How common are penis transplantations?

“Intimacy after injury” says genital injuries including full loss are quite common in duty-serving troops, mainly in young men, between 2001 to 2013 around 1,378 young men with an average of 24 years of age have been reportedly coming home with injuries that shatter dreams of keeping stable relationships and plans of procreation. This also takes a toll on the mental well being of Veterans.

The John Hopkins’ interned patient was the victim of an improvised explosive device explosion while he was on tour in Afghanistan, which left very severe injuries in his genitals and legs that were hard to heal and to cope with for medicine, as there was no possibility to reconstruct skin with prosthetics and tissue cuts.

The first possible treatment is one of the most traditional for cases like this, in which genitals are reconstructed out of prosthetics and skin tissues that are taken from other parts of the body during surgery, according to the doctors. Army members can be so injured sometimes that the necessary skin tissue is not there at all.

How can doctors perform organ transplantations of a human penis?

Penis transplants remain as an option but for a while, they will keep being labeled as experimental. In this case, this made the preparation for the surgery take longer than other types of procedures. Doctors have been training since 2013 in corpses and donors in order to achieve further technical preparation.

Also, a fact that can make penis transplants lengthier in waiting is that a matching donor must be found. In order to have these matching donors, they must have matching blood types. Genital transplants are still on a very early development time, according to John Hopkins Doctors the only thing that remained without being transplanted were the testicles, due to the possibility of transferring the donor’s sperm and consequently his child.

For many, genital transplants are unethical, but there is the fact that there are people affected by tragic events, which prevents them from having an actual personal life, as reported by “Intimacy after injury”.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine