Military Veteran Receives World’s First Penis Transplant

April 26, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Story

penis transplant

A veteran who had his genitals blown off in an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan made history last month by becoming the world’s first recipient of a full penis and scrotum transplant.

Nine plastic surgeons and two urological surgeons from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, completed the transplant after a meticulous 14-hour procedure, a hospital release said. The parts, which also included a portion of the abdominal wall, came from a deceased donor.

“We are hopeful that this transplant will help restore near-normal urinary and sexual functions for this young man,” Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, director of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in the release.

The patient, who asked not to be identified, is expected to be released from the hospital this week.

As a result of the IED blast, the patient also lost both legs above the knee, but it was this affliction that ravaged him the most. And while he was relieved, at first, to have survived such extensive trauma, the thought of being permanently disabled in such a way was a rapid catalyst for suicidal ideations.

“There were times you’d be hanging out and guys would be talking about getting hurt, and that’s one of the first things when they get blown up, to check down there, and they would say things like, ‘If I lost mine I’d just kill myself,’” he told the New York Times. “When I would actually think about killing myself, I would think, ‘Am I really just gonna kill myself over a penis?’” 

Despite the ground-breaking procedure, which at times involved up to 25 people in the operating room, the soldier will remain unable to father children after the blast destroyed his own reproductive tissue. Testosterone and Cialis, however, will help compensate for the loss and encourage erectile function, the report said.

“It’s a real mind-boggling injury to suffer, it is not an easy one to accept,” the soldier said in a statement. “When I first woke up, I felt finally more normal… [with] a level of confidence as well. Confidence… like finally I’m okay now.”

In a video, Hopkins Medicine shows exactly how this transplant worked: