Doctor Sergio Canavero continues with the first head transplant experiments. Whether it is a head transplant or, more specifically, a body transplant, his project raises the disbelief, anxiety, and even anger of scientists. There is no scientific credibility for this project and it goes against all ethical principles, other scientists agreed. Meanwhile, Canavero, who has found refuge in China since there the regulations are more flexible, does not budge and says that the first head transplant in the world might be more than 90% successful and its applications could be numerous.
“It’s a simple story of cutting, sewing, joining, welding, (…) reconnecting the marrow. In the end, is not very complicated, only tiring,” Sergio Canavero said.
The first head transplant in history was conducted on dead bodies
Last year, China performed the first transplant on a human model, the first cephalo-somatic anastomosis in history. The intervention lasted 18 hours and the team led by Chinese surgeon Xiaoping Ren took the head of a man who had just died and placed it on the body of another patient who had just died.
The nerves, blood vessels, and the spine were perfectly connected. The larynx, the phrenic nerves, all were intact and not damaged by the intervention.
Sergio Canavero explains that he only dealt with the spinal cord part, all the rest being done by the Chinese surgeons.
Dr. Canavero already has a candidate for the first head transplant on a living person
As for the intervention in a living man, the Russian Valery Spiridonov has already been chosen as the most reliable candidate as he is suffering from Werdnig-Hoffmann, muscle-destructive disease. When it comes to a head transplant intervention on a living human, the surgery will take place in two stages which will take over two days.
On the first day, the recipient is “prepared”, while on the second day, the graft is performed.
“During the procedure, the brain flow is never interrupted because a machine is used to establish a cross-blood flow between the donor and the recipient. The transfer of the head lasts only a few seconds. From the moment the blood begins to circulate, it immediately begins to irrigate the brainstem where the respiratory center is located,” explained Sergio Canavero.
In the current state, Sergio Canavero estimates that the first head transplant in the world performed on a living person might be more than 90% successful, in terms of chances of survival for the recipient. According to him, such an intervention will happen soon.