Doctors at Johns Hopkins University said Monday they have performed the world’s first total penis and scrotum transplant on a US military serviceman who was wounded in Afghanistan. The 14-hour operation took place on March 26, and was performed by a team of nine plastic surgeons and two urology surgeons, JHU said in a statement.
“We are hopeful that this transplant will help restore near-normal urinary and sexual functions for this young man,” said W.P. Andrew Lee, professor and director of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The entire penis, scrotum without testicles and partial abdominal wall came from a deceased donor. The recipient has requested anonymity, but released a brief statement saying he is expected to be released from the hospital next week. “It’s a real mind-boggling injury to suffer; it is not an easy one to accept,” he said. “When I first woke up, I felt finally more normal.” The statement did not describe how the patient was injured, but said blasts from improvised explosive devices can cause such injuries. Doctors have previously succeeded at transplanting penises only, so adding the scrotum represented an additional advance for surgeons. The first penis transplant in the world took place in China in 2006, but it was later removed due to “a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife,” doctors said. The world’s first successful penis transplant was announced in 2015 in South Africa. The United States followed in 2016.