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Soldier Gains New Penis And Scrotum In First Complete Penile Transplant

24 April 2018
Soldier Gains New Penis And Scrotum In First Complete Penile Transplant

A U.S. veteran has received the world's first total penis and scrotum transplant after losing both legs and his genitals to a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

The soldier lost both legs above the knee, his penis and the area around it when the IED - improvised explosive device - blasted him.

The operation lasted 14 hours and required the help of nine plastic surgeons and two urological surgeons.

According to USA Today, the patient did not receive testicles in the procedure to "avoid the ethical issues" as the testicles would have contained the sperm of the donor, who recently passed away.

"It's a real mind-boggling injury to suffer, it is not an easy one to accept", said the recipient. The veteran also said that, thanks to the surgery he now feels more normal than before and that his confidence has returned thanks to the surgery. "Confidence... like, finally, I'm okay now", he added.

The man, whose identity remains under wraps, is well on his way to recovery and is expected to soon regain his urinary and sexual functions, said transplant team leader Richard Redett.

Doctors noted that it was one of many groundbreaking procedures to emerge from the combat casualties suffered by soldiers at war. It will take about six months for the nerves to regrow enough to restore sexual function and sensation, but Redett said he is optimistic this will occur.

A team of surgeons says it has repaired the genitals of a serviceman severely injured by an explosion in Afghanistan. There were two earlier successful penile transplants in South Africa, as well as an unsuccessful one in China.

Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital transplanted a penis without a scrotum in 2016. He has recovered from the surgery and could be discharged from the hospital this week but remains on drugs to prevent rejection of the transplant.

The surgery is the latest breakthrough for the Hopkins reconstructive team.

It's possible to reconstruct a penis using tissue from other parts of the body, but an implant is necessary to enable erections, which poses a much higher risk of infection, Lee explained. The surgeons and Johns Hopkins volunteered their services, which would otherwise have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and wouldn't have been covered by veterans benefits or insurance, they say. The Department of Defense Trauma Registry has recorded 1,367 male service members who survived with genitourinary injuries between 2001 and 2013. The report also found that most of the injuries were caused by bomb blasts, and over a third were considered severe.