Surgeons Perform World’s First Penis and Scrotum Transplant

Don’t like your penis for some reason? Well, good news – it’s now possible to have a new one installed!! We kid, we kid…………however it is pretty crazy to know that surgeons have now performed the world’s first successful penis AND scrotum transplant.

 

A U.S. military veteran has received the world’s first penis and scrotum transplant.

A team of 11 surgeons performed the surgery last March at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

The patient was wounded by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

During the 14-hour procedure, surgeons transplanted a penis, scrotum (without testicles), and part of an abdominal wall from a deceased donor.

Doctor’s expressed hope that the man’s urinary and sexual function would be restored within several months.

The 14-hour operation was performed by a team of 11 surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore at the end of March.

“We are hopeful that this transplant will help restore near-normal urinary and sexual functions for this young man,” said surgeon W.P. Andrew Lee, professor and director of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine in a statement.

The recipient, who asked to remain anonymous, was severely wounded by an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan. In addition to his genitals, he lost both legs.

The first successful penis transplant took place in South Africa in 2014. What makes the Johns Hopkins transplant different is the extensive amount of tissue involved.

Surgeons harvested a penis, scrotum, and part of an abdominal wall from a deceased donor. They then attached the tissue by connecting a complex network of veins, arteries, and nerves. The urethra – the tube that allows urine and semen to leave the body – was also attached.

The surgeons expect the veteran’s urinary and sexual function to be restored in several months, but they are not yet sure how much function will be recovered.

The recipient will not be able to father biological children. While the donor’s scrotum was transplanted, his testicles were not. This was an ethical decision on the surgeons’ part, as sperm created from donor testicles would carry the donor’s DNA, not the recipient’s.

Other patients are being considered for similar surgeries, but it takes time to find donated tissue that is a good match in terms of age, skin tone, and immune system. The recipient must take medication so that his body will not reject the donated tissue.

Genital injuries can be devastating for men.

“That injury, I felt like it banished me from a relationship,” the recipient told the New York Times. “Like, that’s it, you’re done, you’re by yourself for the rest of your life. I struggled with even viewing myself as a man for a long time.”

The donor’s family told a Johns Hopkins reporter, “We are all very proud that our loved one was able to help a young man that served his country.”

Resources

HUB (Johns Hopkins University)

Nilaweera, Archana

“Johns Hopkins surgeons perform world’s first total penis and scrotum transplant”

(April 23, 2018)

https://hub.jhu.edu/2018/04/23/penis-transplant-surgery-johns-hopkins/

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Nitkin, Karen

“First-Ever Penis and Scrotum Transplant Makes History at Johns Hopkins”

(April 23, 2018)

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/articles/first-ever-penis-and-scrotum-transplant-makes-history-at-johns-hopkins