Historical Penis Transplant Conducted In The US

By Jenn Loro - 20 May '16 10:20AM

Medical experts at the Massachusetts General Hospital have carried out the first penis transplant done on US soil on a patient whose genitalia was removed as a result of cancer.

The recipient of the landmark procedure was 64-year-old Thomas Manning, a native of Massachusetts whose penis was surgically removed because of cancer. The 15-hour complex operation required a team of a dozen highly trained surgeons plus thirty healthcare workers with the organ coming from a deceased donor.

As noted by The Atlantic, the surgical procedure was experimental part of a research program with the chief aim of providing patients with a medical way out of the social stigma often linked with severe forms of genital cancers and serious pelvic injuries and dispel the shame by offering affected men with hope of restoring their normal anatomy.

In the US, there are 2, 030 reported cases of penile cancer. More importantly, the new procedure could greatly help war veterans who suffer from genitourinary injuries on the battlefields. More than 1, 000 soldiers are reportedly dealing with genital damage after returning home from the war.

"We're cautiously optimistic. It is uncharted waters for us," remarked Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who led the surgical team as quoted by New York Times.

The doctors said that since the operation, Manning's newly transplanted penis appears to be functioning well, receiving normal blood flow, and showing no signs of rejection and infection as often the case in a number of organ transplants. Prior to the historic operation, Manning waited two weeks to find the right organ match that was later approved by the deceased donor's family.

"Today I begin a new chapter filled with personal hope and hope for others who have suffered genital injuries, particularly for our service members who put their lives on the line and suffer serious damage as a result," Manning wrote in a statement as quoted by Washington Post. "In sharing this success with all of you, it's my hope we can usher in a bright future for this type of transplantation."

The first documented successful penile transplant was carried out in South Africa where the recipient reportedly fathered a baby last year. As the surgical techniques continue to improve, it might also prove useful to help transgender male patients' transition to having a seemingly natural urinary and reproductive function.

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