The first penis and scrotum transplants in the world have been conducted in the US. An American soldier who lost his genitalia in Afghanistan was grafted with a penis and a scrotum, but no testicles due to ethical reasons, on March 26th, 2018. The intervention was a success and the patient is expected to regain its urinary and sexual functions.
This medical breakthrough has been conducted at the Johns Hopkins University hospital but doctors made the announcement on this Monday, April 23rd, 2018.
The 4th successful penis transplant, and the first penis and scrotum transplant in the world
Only 4 successful penis transplants have been performed worldwide. The first penis transplant in the world was performed in China, in 2006, then 2 penis transplants were conducted in South Africa, while recently the US put itself on this list.
This transplant of a penis and a scrotum, made from a deceased donor, is a world first, however.
This type of transplant, where part of the body or tissue is transferred from one individual to another, involves transplanting the skin, muscles and tendons, nerves, bones, and blood vessels. As with any transplant surgery, tissue rejection is a concern. The patient is put on an immunosuppressive drug to prevent rejection.
The penis and scrotum transplant will provide normal urinary and sexual functions for the US soldier
The beneficiary, who requested anonymity, can now walk and should be able to leave the hospital this week. “It’s really an impressive injury, not easy to accept. When I woke up after the operation, I finally felt more normal,” the patient said in a brief statement.
On the other hand, the doctors are optimistic that he will regain almost normal urinary and sexual functions, followed by a total recovery, in time.
However, the scrotum is empty, as the doctors refused to transplant the testicles, too, due to ethical reasons.
“The testes were not grafted because that would raise a number of ethical issues,” said Johns Hopkins University plastic surgeon, Damon Cooney, who added that in the case of a testicles transplant the genetical material of the donor would be transmitted.
In conclusion, the US doctors made the first penis and scrotum transplant in the world and expect the patient to have normal urinary and sexual functions.