Surgeons at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine are rumored to be preparing for another breakthrough surgery in the U.S. – penis transplant.
The team wants to help thousands of wounded soldiers heal their physical wounds as they conduct penis transplants to those men in dire need.
There are more than 1,367 men who suffered from genital wounds in Iraq or Afghanistan alone from 2001 to 2013, as reported by the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. Most of these men have been victims of homemade bombs, or more popular as improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Some lost their whole penis or testicles, while some lost only a part of it.
According to Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee, the chairman of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins, “These genitourinary injuries are not things we hear about or read about very often.”
“I think one would agree it is as devastating as anything that our wounded warriors suffer, for a young man to come home in his early 20s with the pelvic area completely destroyed,” he added.
Doctors reported that the organ will come from a deceased donor, and surgeons will be working on reassigning the penis to its new owner for the person to develop a new urinary tract, feel sensation and eventually have sex again.
In the past, there were only two reported penis transplants and only one of which was said to be a success after the man was reported to a father a child a year after his healing. The first surgery was performed in 2006 in China and the successful one was just last year in South Africa. This surgery was never performed in the U.S. yet, but the hospital got approval to conduct at most 60 transplants considering it an experimental trial and hopefully will make it a standard surgery someday.
The hospital is now in the process of identifying possible candidates for the operation.
The doctors will connect to penis to the recipient therefore attach the blood vessels and nerve ending from one end to the other. They will allow the nerves to grow into the transplanted area in the hope that it will regain sexual function.
However, recipients will need to be given anti-rejection medicines for the rest of their lives so as not to have infection with their new organ.