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Injured Afghanistan Vet Receives 1st Total Penis, Scrotum Transplant

25 April, 2018, 09:34 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • World first The young man, who chose not to be identified lost his genitals and both legs above the knee in Afghanistan. He received the world's first total penis and scrotum transplant in a 14-hour surgery on March 26 at Johns Hopkins

The move is groundbreaking, and paves the way for the many other soldiers who have sustained genital injuries during combat.

A team of nine plastic surgeons and two urological surgeons worked tirelessly to ensure the 14-hour surgery was successful - meaning men have hope if they are ever unlucky enough to lose their penis. "Confidence. like finally I'm OK", he said in the statement.

This sort of transplant, where a body part or tissue is exchanged starting with one individual then onto the next, is called vascularized composite allotransplantation.

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. The man is expected to be discharged from the hospital this week.

But thanks to a donor and a team of transplant specialists who have been rehearsing for five years, the patient should recover near complete function of his penis, the doctors said.

According to a report published past year, 1,367 men in the USA military suffered genital injuries in Iraq or Afghanistan from 2001 to 2013. However, those transplants involved only the penis, not extensive surrounding tissue that made this transplant much more complex, said a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.


The recipient, who chose to remain anonymous in a NYTimes article, lost both legs above the knee and had his genitals-penis, scrotum, and testes-blown off after a roadside bomb detonated during a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

"In particular, the ability of the recipient of the transplant to have children would result in genetic material being transmitted from the donor of the transplanted tissue to the recipient's offspring", Cooney added.

The families of deceased donors need to give explicit permission for a penis - as parts of the face or hands - to be given for transplant, for example. Surgeons said that is enabling the veteran to take one anti-rejection drug instead of several.

"All the research that we have done and all the experience that we have from our urology colleagues clearly indicates that he will regain full function of the penis with regard to urination.to have an erection and to have intercourse", Brandacher said.

Dr Lee said the goal of such a transplant was "to restore a person's sense of identity and manhood". In the future, they hope the DoD will cover the expenses for their veterans. Ars Technica reports that According to the Department of Defense, 1,367 men, almost all under the age of 35, returned to the USA from Iraq and Afghanistan with genital injuries between 2001 and 2013.

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