On Monday, surgeons at The Johns Hopkins Hospital announced they have performed the world’s first total penis and scrotum transplant.
The team of nine plastic surgeons and two urological surgeons performed the 14-hour surgery on March 26. Their patient? An veteran who was injured in Afghanistan. Doctors used the entire penis and scrotum (minus the testicles) from a deceased donor.
“We are hopeful that this transplant will help restore near-normal urinary and sexual functions for this young man,” said W.P. Andrew Lee, a professor and the director of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine.
The transplant, as opposed to a reconstruction that uses tissue from other parts of the body, will allow the recipient to achieve an erection without the use of a prosthesis implant. The risk for post-surgery infection is also much lower.
The recipient, who wishes to remain anonymous, has successfully recovered from the surgery and is expected to be released from the hospital this week.
“It’s a real mind-boggling injury to suffer,” the recipient said. “It is not an easy one to accept. When I first woke up, I felt finally more normal … [with] a level of confidence as well. Confidence … like finally I’m okay now.”