A hospital in Boston has become the first in the US to perform a successful penis transplant, doctors said, calling the operation “a surgical milestone”.
Thomas Manning, 64, received the donated organ three years after his penis was amputated due to penile cancer.
He is the third man worldwide to have had the experimental surgery performed.
The patient is expected to regain normal urination and sexual function in the next several months.
The 15-hour operation took place earlier this month at Massachusetts General Hospital and involved more than 50 doctors from many departments including urology, psychiatry, plastic surgery, and several others.
Although penile injuries are not always fatal, “the psychological aspects of such an injury can be overwhelming” hospital officials said in a press release.
Mr Manning hopes that by speaking publically about his experience he will remove the stigma of genital injury and inspire other men to remain hopeful about recovery.
“Don’t hide behind a rock”, he told the New York Times who first reported the story.
Another patient at the hospital is due to receive a transplant as soon as a donor becomes available. His penis was destroyed in a car accident.
The first successful penis transplant was performed in South Africa in 2015 on a man who had complications following a traditional circumcision ceremony. He later went on to father a child.
In 2006 a Chinese man who received the world’s first penis transplant decided after two weeks to reverse the transplant.
Doctors removed the donated penis following a “severe psychological problem” experienced by him and his wife.
Dr Curtis Cetrulo, who led the surgical team in Boston, says that performing penis transplants may help to prevent suicides and could even be considered “life-saving”.
He also said that doctors hope to use the technique on wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Victims of penis and genital injuries, known as genitourinary injuries, usually suffer in private with depression and embarrassment – something that Mr Manning hopes he can change following today’s announcement.
In the hospital statement, Mr Manning wrote: “Today I begin a new chapter filled with personal hope and hope for others who have suffered genital injuries.
“In sharing this success with all of you, it’s my hope we can usher in a bright future for this type of transplantation.”
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