Doctors in the United States have successfully performed a penis transplant on a patient after a 15-hour operation that involved a medical team of 50 surgeons, doctors, and nurses – the CNN reports.
The penis transplant procedure was performed on 64-year-old Thomas Manning at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The patient had been diagnosed with penile cancer in 2012 and had his penis amputated.
Describing the procedure as a great success, the medical team called the procedure “gentitourinary vascularized composite allograft” or GUVCA. It basically involved grafting the penis of a donor onto the vascular and neural structures of the recipient.
According to the director of Regional Urology Program at the hospital, Dr. Dicken Ko, the primary objective of the surgery was to give the patient another penile organ which would ultimately be used for urinary function and perhaps sexual purposes. While the patient might be able to use his new organ for sexual purposes, he may however not be able to use it for reproduction because of ethical concerns.
“Today I begin a new chapter filled with personal hope and hope for others who have suffered genital injuries, particularly for our service members who put their lives on the line and suffer serious damage as a result,” Manning said from the hospital.
He is doing well and expected to be discharged from hospital in less than a week.
Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who worked together with Ko on the procedure said it surgery was the result of 3 ½ years of preparation, including partnering with the New England Organ Bank to identify a suitable penis donor, according to The New York Times which gave full details.
Manning will be placed on immunosuppressing drugs for the rest of his life so that he doesn’t develop infection or organ rejection, while the drugs will help the nerves within the organ to regrow.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital would have been the first US hospital to achieve this feat last year considering the programme it launched for veterans requiring the procedure. Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is also licensed to carry out the procedure.
Doctors at the Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, successfully performed the first penile transplant on a 21-year-old patient in December 2014. The medical operation lasted nine hours. After three months following the surgery, the man was able to use his new organ for urinary and reproductive functions; and by June 2015, he was able to impregnate his girlfriend.