First Penis Transplants In U.S. Planned For Wounded Soldiers

Doctors could be performing the first penis transplant in the United States within months, The New York Times reported Sunday, and wounded soldiers will be the first recipients.

Specialists at Johns Hopkins plan to complete 60 of the experimental procedures on veterans.

“Some hope to father children,” Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, the chairman of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins, told the paper. “I think that is a realistic goal.”

According to the Times, surgeons will connect nerves, veins and arteries by “stitching them together under a microscope” using the penis of a recently deceased donor. The procedure will take about 12 hours and will cost between $200,000 and $400,000.

“It’s important they we’re devoting effort to take care of the issues around vets experiencing genital trauma,” Dr. Joseph Alukal, a urologist and director of male reproductive health at NYU Langone Medial Center, told The Huffington Post. “These are uniquely disfiguring injuries and they carry a tremendous psychological burden.”

Since 2005, more than 1,500 soldiers and Marines have suffered genital wounds.

While some post-surgical obstacles could be corrected, Alukal said, “the one problem you couldn’t do anything for would be lack of sensation. … You would only figure that out over months and years.”

South African doctors performed a successful penis transplant last December, and the man’s surgeon announced in June of this year that his patient was expecting a child.

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