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Surgeons to perform penis transplant on wounded US soldiers

Surgeons from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, United States, are set to conduct a penis transplant surgery in less than a year’s time.

The surgery will be a third one of its kind after the 2006 China one that was unsuccessful as the recipient asked for a removal, then the December 2014 one in South Africa which doctors termed as successful since the recipient managed to impregnate his girlfriend.

According to an article published in the New York Times on Sunday, the John Hopkins penis transplant recipient will be a young wounded soldier who was injured during a bomb in Afghanistan.

“The organ will come from a deceased donor, and the surgeons, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, say they expect it to start working in a matter of months, developing urinary function, sensation and, eventually, the ability to have sex,” stated New York Times.

The team of surgeons will be led by Dr W. P. Andrew Lee, the chairman of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins.

RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY

The university has granted them permission to carry out 60 transplants and the organs are expected to be obtained from dead people, whose families will first consent to the donation.

According to the lead surgeon, each surgery will take 12 hours and the first one will be paid for by the university while a request has already been sent to the US Department of Defense to have them cover the cost for the other transplants.

Dr Richard J. Redett, director of pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins, who will be part of the team told New York Times that the surgery will be of great importance to the recipients.

“To be missing the penis and parts of the scrotum is devastating. That part of the body is so strongly associated with your sense of self and identity as a male. These guys have given everything they have,” said Dr Redett.

According to the US Department of Defense Trauma Registry, from 2001 to 2013, 1,367 men in military service suffered wounds to the genitals in Iraq or Afghanistan, nearly all were under 35 and were hurt by homemade bombs, commonly called improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.s and some lost all or part of their penises or testicles.