Johns Hopkins surgeons carried out the most complex penile grafting in late March against a soldier who lost his genitals in a bomb blast in Afghanistan.
Over the course of 14 hours, specialists transplanted a penis, scrotum, and part of it. The abdominal wall from a deceased donor to the wounded soldier, Johns Hopkins announced on Monday. The handful of similar transplants previously performed in hospitals in Massachusetts, South Africa, and China included only one penis.
The Hopkins doctors said the operation seems to have gone smoothly so far and are optimistic that the patient wants to remain anonymous
"We hope that such a life-changing transplant allows him to regain the urinary and sexual function lead a normal life, "said Dr. Richard Redett, professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University University of School of Medicine
Doctors should know later this week when the patient will be discharged if he can urinate. It takes about six months to see if the patient can feel and experience an erection. It will take so long for the nerves to grow.
In a statement published by Johns Hopkins, the patient said he was already feeling normal again.
"It's a real, devastating injury to suffer, it's not easy to accept," he said. "When I woke up, I finally felt more normal … [with] a degree of self-confidence, trust … how finally am I okay now."
As part of the transplantation process, the donor family must be told when to donate specific body parts, especially newer grafts such as limbs, face or penis. The donor's family released a statement to the patient through the New England Donor Services and said why they agreed to such a groundbreaking procedure.
"We are all very proud that our lover could help a young man country," they said. "We are so grateful to say that our beloved person would be proud and honored to know that he has given you a special gift." As a family, we support all the men and women who serve our country and are grateful for the work, Please be aware that this is a really warm statement as we have several veterans in the family, we hope that you can return to better health soon and we wish you a speedy recovery. "
Few penile implants have been performed worldwide, but this is the most extensive," Dr. Arthur Burnett, a professor in Hopkins Department of Urology. China made a failed attempt in the 2000s. Doctors in South Africa performed transplants in 2014 and 2017. In 2016, Massachusetts General doctors transplanted a penis without a scrotum to a man who had cancer.