Modern day science and technology is constantly outdoing itself, with news of the the first successful penis transplant surgery in the U.S. it’s done it again. Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital made international news when it announced that they had successfully completed it’s first penis transplant procedure.
64 year-old Thomas Manning had surgery last week and received the transplanted penis in a surgical procedure that last 15 hours. His new penis comes from a deceased donor.
Manning lost his penis to cancer in 2012 when an accident at work led him to see his doctor where they found a rare cancer, which affects only about 2,000 men a year, growing in his groin. His penis had to be amputated, leaving him with a one-inch stump and unable to have sex or pee standing up. Surgeons from his operating team have said that blood is flowing to the organ. They say there are no signs of bleeding, rejection or infection, and that they’re cautiously optimistic he will regain normal functions.
Dr. Curtis Cetrulo, who helped lead the surgical team, has said the transplant surgery had three key aims: ensuring the transplanted organ looks natural, is capable of normal urination and eventually can achieve normal sexual function. the hospital refers to the procedure as “the nation’s first genitourinary vascularized composite allograft transplant.”
“We are hopeful that these reconstructive techniques will allow us to alleviate the suffering and despair of those who have experienced devastating genitourinary injuries and are often so despondent they consider taking their own lives,” said Cetrulo.
The surgery, a first in the U.S. was done experimentally and is a part of a research program geared towards helping veterans, cancer patients and accident victims. Losing one’s genitals can cause extreme emotional damage and this surgery can help people heal not only physically but emotionally.
Surgeon Dicken Ko, who also helped lead the surgical team, has said to prevent rejection of the organ, Manning will likely have to take immune-suppressant drugs for the rest of his life.
Manning issued a statement to the press
“Today I begin a new chapter filled with personal hope and hope for others who have suffered genital injuries,” he said.
Manning’s operation is only the second successful penis transplant surgery in the world. the first was done in South Africa in 2014. The following year the transplant recipient became a father. Dr.’s at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine are planning to attempt the same surgery with a wounded veteran.
Ars Technica reported last year that 1,367 men—all aged under 35- returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2013 with devastating genital injuries.
The hospital covered the cost of the surgical procedure, estimated at $50,000 to $75,000.and Manning’s recovery is being paid for by the family of the donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Mass General has a second patient lined up already, a man who lost his penis in a car crash, as soon as a donor becomes available.
Mass General’s Press Release