Hopkins' surgeons complete first total penis transplant

Hopkins' surgeons complete first total penis transplant

The hospital did not disclose in which branch of the military the patient served.

In a 14-hour surgery last month, a team of 11 surgeons was able to transplant the full penis, scrotum, and partial abdominal wall from a deceased organ donor onto the soldier's body.

"We are hopeful that this transplant will help restore near-normal urinary and sexual functions for this young man", said surgical team member Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee.

In a statement, the recipient said his injury was "not an easy one to accept".

The extensive operation involved not only a transplant of the donor's penis and scrotum, minus the testicles, but also a large skin graft to cover the patient's abdomen, penis and scrotum. "We just felt there were too many unanswered ethical questions", surgeon Damon Cooney said.

The operation was estimated to have cost $US300,000-$US400,000 ($393,000-$524,000), although the team of nine plastic surgeons and two urological surgeons worked for free.

Surgeons in South Africa performed the first successful penis transplant in 2014. Many patients suffer in silence because of the stigma their injuries sometimes carry.

Four weeks after the surgery, the veteran said he felt whole again. That requires using implants to achieve erection.

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They attached the urethra, arteries, blood vessels, muscles, nerves, and more to the patient.

The patient, who asked not to be identified, survived a blast in Afghanistan a few years ago that devastated his groin and pelvic region.

In the period from 2001 to 2013, the U.S. Department of defense has registered 1367 soldiers, wounded in the groin and survivors. He lost both legs above the knee, but the genital injury was even more devastating. Hopkins is now screening additional veterans to see if any are good candidates for this type of reconstructive transplant. But it can take a long time to find a matching donor - the Johns Hopkins patient waited more than a year on the transplant list.

Although there have been three previous penis transplants in the world, this is the first operation to also transplant a scrotum. "He is expected to be discharged from the hospital this week", Redett said.

The first such operation in the USA transplanted an organ from a deceased donor to a 64-year-old penile cancer survivor, Thomas Manning of Halifax, Massachusetts.

The recipient is a veteran who was injured in Afghanistan and wished to remain anonymous.

In an interview the following week, Manning told The Associated Press he never hesitated about going public with his ordeal.

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