Menu

Military Veteran Receives “Most Complex” Penis Transplant Yet

After losing his genitals in a roadside bomb explosion, the soldier endured a 14-hour surgery to have a donated penis, scrotum, and partial abdominal wall attached.

Apr 24, 2018
Ashley Yeager

JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINEAn Afghanistan War veteran whose legs and genitals were blown off in a roadside bomb explosion received a transplanted penis, scrotum without testicles, and partial abdominal wall in a 14-hour surgery on March 26 at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“We are hopeful that this transplant will help restore near-normal urinary and sexual functions for this young man,” W.P. Andrew Lee, professor and director of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine, says in a statement.

Nine plastic surgeons and two urological surgeons performed the transplant, taking the genitals from a deceased donor. The surgery is considered the “most complex and extensive penis transplant to date, and the first performed on a combat veteran maimed by a blast,” according to The New York Times. A successful penis transplant was first performed in South Africa in 2014 and a second at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in 2016. But those transplants involved only the penis and not the scrotum or other flesh, The Times notes.

See “First US Penis Transplant

The transplant is the result of years of research and could provide a viable surgical option to restore urinary tract and sexual function in people with severe genital injuries.

“While extremity amputations are visible and resultant disability obvious, some war injuries are hidden and their impact not widely appreciated by others,” Lee told reporters in a press conference, according to The Washington Post. He noted the “devastating impact” that such injuries have on men’s identities, self-esteem, and intimate relationships. [not sure what’s going on with the many quotes here]

The veteran, who asked to remain anonymous, tells The New York Times, “That injury, I felt like it banished me from a relationship. . . . I struggled with even viewing myself as a man for a long time.” After the surgery, he says in the statement, “When I first woke up, I felt finally more normal.”

The path forward will not be easy. The veteran’s body could reject the transplant, and to prevent that he has received a bone marrow transfusion from the donor and will also take immunosuppressive drugs. There are still questions of whether he will regain sexual function. According to USA Today, the man who received the penis transplant at MGH in 2016 has not yet recovered full sexual capabilities.

Without testicles, the veteran will also not be able to father children with the transplanted organ. Doctors chose to remove the donor’s testes due to ethical concerns, “in particular the potential ability to father children with another man’s genetic material,” according to The Post.

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that its QXDx AutoDG ddPCR System, which uses Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR technology, and the QXDx BCR-ABL %IS Kit are the industry’s first digital PCR products to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance. Used together, Bio-Rad’s system and kit can precisely and reproducibly monitor molecular response to treatment in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.