A US solider who suffered injuries during an explosion, will be the first person in the US to receive a penis transplant. Doctors at the Johns Hopkins Hospital said that if the procedure goes through successfully, it could possibly open the door for several other soldiers with genital injuries to be treated as well.
"When you meet these guys and you realize what they've given for the country, it makes a lot of sense," said Dr. Richard Redett, a plastic surgeon at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Redett will be performing the operation.
The surgery will involve using the donated organ and joining nerves and blood vessels under a microscope. The organ will be used from a deceased man and if the surgery is successful, the soldier will be able to have a full functioning organ, capable of urination and experiencing all other sensations.
The unidentified soldier reportedly suffered the injuries while being deployed in Afghanistan, according to media reports. He lost most of his penis and had groin wounds following a bomb explosion. Doctors are hoping to go through with the surgery in the next few weeks after finding the right donor for the soldier, since the age and skin color needs to match and the donor's family needs to give permission.
The surgeons hope to restore emotional well -being and a sense of identity with the procedure, particularly for those men hoping to become a father one day. Despite the penis transplant, the testicles of the soldier remain untouched, therefore in the event that the soldier does go ahead and become a father, the children will genetically be his offspring.
In 2014, a father-to-be had a penis transplant in a nine-hour operation at the Tygerberg hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. The man's penis was amputated three years earlier, when he was 18-years-old after he suffered life-threatening complications due to a botched circumcision.