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Medicine

World’s first penis, scrotum transplant is performed on US serviceman 

The patient, who was wounded in Afghanistan, underwent a 14-hour operation

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2018, 4:40am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2018, 10:25pm

Doctors have performed the world’s first total penis and scrotum transplant on a US military serviceman who was wounded in Afghanistan.

The 14-hour operation was performed by a team of nine plastic surgeons and two urology surgeons at Johns Hopkins University in the US using an entire penis, scrotum without testicles and partial abdominal wall 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, professor and director of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins.

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The recipient has requested anonymity, but released a brief statement saying he is expected to be released from the hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, next week following his March 26 operation.

“It’s a real mind-boggling injury to suffer; it is not an easy one to accept,” he said.

“When I first woke up, I felt finally more normal.”

A statement from the university did not describe how the patient was injured, but said blasts from improvised explosive devices can cause such injuries.

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Doctors have previously succeeded at transplanting penises only, so adding the scrotum represented an additional advance for surgeons.

The first penis was transplanted in China in 2006, but it was later removed due to “a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife,” doctors said.

The world’s first successful penis transplant was announced in 2015 in South Africa. The United States followed in 2016.