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US Doctors Transplanting Something For The Very First Time (You Won’t Believe It!)
John Hopkins Hospital has performed some amazing surgeries in their time. They are one of the first hospitals to perform sex change operations and are the place to turn to when people need reconstructive surgery or other types of transplants.
Researchers and doctors at this infamous hospital are currently working on plans to perform the first human penis transplant.
Yes, read that again. The first human penis transplant.
In the beginning, doctors intended to use this for those who have had post traumatic deformities, such as veterans who have been injured in battle. Although, yes, there is currently reconstructive surgery, however for some people, especially veterans, this isn’t feasible.
Scientists explain that all subjects will need to undergo a wide range of tests, including a full psychiatric evaluation, before they are approved for surgery. For those of you who think that you might head over to John Hopkins for a “longer” or “bigger” transplant, think again. Psychiatric evaluations alone can take up to one year.
How Does This Transplant Actually Work?
Unlike other types of organ or tissue donations, such as heart, skin, or liver, doctors will need to get special permission for this type of personal donation. The donor would also need to be evaluated even more than other organs to ensure that it matches multiple factors. Including that the donor needs to be no more than 10 years older or younger than the recipient.
The donor organ would be attached to the recipient in a very detailed, painstaking operation where all nerves and blood vessels would need to be reattached. Even if the operation appears to be successful, the surgeons cannot guarantee that the transplant will take, and function as the recipient’s original equipment.
Although doctors expect the nerves to regrow into the donor tissue so that the patient would be able to regain full function of urinary function, erection, and even the ability to father children.
After surgery, the doctors’ main focus will be on making sure that the donated tissue stays healthy and has an adequate blood supply. Rejection is the next concern, but this generally is discovered within a few weeks. The next would be functionability. Nerves grow about 1 millimeter each day and if the patient’s nerves grow this fast, the recipient could have a fully functioning penis within 6 months to 1 year.
The subject would begin medication to ensure that the immune system does not immediately reject the new penis and about 2 weeks later, the patient receives an infusion of the donor’s bone marrow. This should help cut down on the previously used lifelong immunosuppressive medication that most transplant subjects receive.
Although this sounds amazing, there have actually been 2 previous attempts to do penis transplants, neither of them in the USA. A chinese male attempted to have a penis transplant in 2006, which was unsuccessful. However, a man in South Africa actually had a successful surgery in 2014. This gives the doctors at John Hopkins hope that they can begin to do penis transplants on subjects on a regular basis by the end of 2016.