Penis Transplant Might Help US Veterans

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( — December 8, 2015) — Finally some good news for US veterans. Some time next year, the first penis transplant is going to be carried out by the surgeons from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The decision on who the first patient is going to be has already been made. A young soldier who got hurt in Afghanistan by a bomb.

Dr. Damon Cooney, assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery and co-clinical director of the penile transplant program at Johns Hopkins told CBS News:” We want to continue to expand the field into areas that are not easy to reconstruct using conventional methoda. The more and more interactions we have had with the military, the more we came to find out that although people aren’t talking about it much, genital injuries are a much bigger problem for a lot of people”.

The organ for the transplant will be taken from a deceased person. It is expected to function in a few months’ time, meaning the organ has to have sensation, urinary function and sex ability which comes last.

So far, there have been two penis transplants, one of which succeeded last year in South Africa. The happy recipient was delighted to inform the public that his girlfriend got pregnant.

This kind of potentially successful surgery is very important for young people who come back heavily injured from the battles. Their number is growing according to the Department of Defence Trauma Registry.

Since the procedure is still regarded as experimental, the results have to be closely observed in order for the procedure to become a standard one. The extent of successfulness of this kind of surgery also has to be taken into consideration. Dr.Joseph Alukal, a urologist and director of male reproductive health at NYU Langone Medical Center and assistant professor of Urology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU School of Medicine told CBS News:” If we were going to attempt this at NYU, I would warn patients that while we can make guarantees regarding the idea that the operation should work in terms of the new organ surviving, but in terms of its functionality during sex, we’ll do everything we can to make it work, but we can’t guarantee that”.The procedure does not include testicle transplant, so unfortunately, if the testicles are lost it would be impossible for those people to have their own children.

The Johns Hopkins program does not exclude other people, but the veterans are privileged because they serve their country overseas and destroyed masculinity can have enormous consequences on their mental health. Other possible candidates might be people with birth defects or people whose penis had to be removed for medical reason. This new procedure can also be beneficial for transgender patients.

So for now, first the ones with traumatic injuries and if the treatment proves to be successful, it will be offered to other patients, too.