Penis And Scrotum Transplant: The World’s First Ever Op Has Been Done!
An Afghanistan war veteran who lost his genitals in a bomb explosion was offered new hope after receiving the world’s first penis and scrotum transplant.
It took 11 surgeons to perform the historical 14-hour operation at Johns Hopkins Hospital on March 26. The patient received a penis, scrotum, and part of the abdominal wall from a deceased donor, Johns Hopkins announced on Monday.
According to The New York Times, the testicles were not transplanted because they still house the donor’s sperm, which would raise ethical issues later if the veteran chose to have children.
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Before the life-changing surgery, the patient never thought he’d be able to marry or date again. Under the condition of anonymity, he spoke to the Times about how the surgery offers him new perspective on the future.
“That injury, I felt like it banished me from a relationship,” he said. “Like, that’s it, you’re done, you’re by yourself for the rest of your life. I struggled with even viewing myself as a man for a long time.”
Doctors believe the new penis won’t inhibit the man’s ability to pee or enjoy sex.
“We are hopeful that this transplant will help restore near-normal urinary and sexual functions for this young man,” W.P. Andrew Lee, M.D., professor and director of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in the statementreleased by the hospital. MensHealth.com reached out for comment, and will update the story if and when we hear back.
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As with any transplant, there is the possibility the patient’s body will reject the new penis. Immunosuppressive medications will minimize the likelihood of that happening.
This may be the first of many similar transplants performed at the hospital. A paper published in The Journal of Urology in 2016 revealed that 1,367 U.S. service men sustained at least genitourinary injury between 2001 to 2013. That year, the hospital announced it would perform 60 penis transplants on wounded vets.
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Rejection and functionality may be the most common questions surrounding the procedure, but doctors also consider the ethics of the operation. In 2016, Craig Klugman, PhD, a bioethicist at DePaul University in Chicago, told The Journal of the American Medical Association that the psychological damage from losing a penis may outweigh the risks.
“You have a person who sacrificed part of their life for our society,” Klugman said. “That is one reason to go ahead.”’
By Melissa Matthews