First U.S. penis transplant could occur in just months, with doctors from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore hoping this is the beginning of a program aimed at U.S. veterans.
The first penis transplant could be performed in the following 12 months or even earlier. According to recent coverage, the doctors with the John Hopkins University School of Medicine hope that the premiere transplant in the U.S. will be the first of a long string addressing one of the most stigmatized and emotionally burdening injuries that U.S. troops suffer: genitourinary injuries.
According to recent reports, a number of 1,367 U.S. veterans under the age of 35 have suffered injuries in the genital area just in the Afghanistan and Iraq missions. The increase in number of genitourinary injuries has been explained by the emergence and rapid spread of improvised explosive devices.
For these men, losing their penis or their testicles is not necessarily a life-threatening injury. Yet, the emotional toll it takes and the stigma such an injury is surrounded by makes it almost unbearable. The medical team at John Hopkins hopes to address this as soon as possible.
As the first U.S. penis transplant could occur in just months, the medical team has stated that genitourinary injuries aren’t a hot topic for discussion. Nonetheless, they are a real problem that needs to be addressed. As such, while preparing for the first penis transplant in the U.S., the doctors are tempering expectations.
It is possible that the penis transplant could restore full functionality in time. Sexually, if the testicles are intact, then the recipients could well father their biological children. Otherwise, while full sexual capacity could be restored, the recipients will not be able to father any children. At the same time, there is the risk of rejection for the transplanted penis.
U.S. veterans benefitting from this surgical procedure could be followed by gender reassigning patients. The pioneering penis transplant will firstly benefit a young soldier wounded in Afghanistan. Within months the doctors are hopeful that he will regain urinary function, feeling and sexual function.
The U.S. surgical intervention is the first nationwide. Worldwide, two other penis transplants have been performed. In 2006 Chinese surgeons conducted the first surgical intervention of this kind, followed by a penis transplant in South Africa in 2014. While experimental, the surgical intervention offers hope for regaining a normal life and erectile function in addition to urinary function to men affected by genitourinary injuries.
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