Baltimore: An war veteran, whose genitals had been blown off by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, has received a donated penis and scrotum. Doctors of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore are hopeful that the man's ability to function normally will be restored.
As per a report in the Washington Post, the doctors have said that the transplant - made in a 14-hour surgery - is a medical first. The war veteran received the tissue transplant from a team of 11 doctors in March 2018. They comprised of nine plastic surgeons and two urological surgeons.
The transplant entailed an entire penis, scrotum and partial abdominal wall from a donor. This is said to be different from earlier penis transplants. Earlier ones included only the organ. The report said that only a couple of the procedures have been successful. The donor’s testes were first removed for the transplant. It involved connecting blood vessels and nerves from the patient to the tissue material. This included three arteries, four veins and two nerves.
The procedure was estimated to have cost between $300,000 to $400,000. It was not covered by the patient’s insurance and the majority of it was covered by the hospital.
WP Andrew Lee, chairman of the department of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was quoted as saying by WP - “While extremity amputations are visible and resultant disability obvious, some war injuries are hidden and their impact not widely appreciated by others. He also spoke of the 'devastating impact' that injuries have on men’s self-esteem and intimate relationships.
The report further said that the doctors are hoping that the patient would regain 'near-normal' urinary and sexual functions over the coming months.
“It’s a real mind-boggling injury to suffer, it is not an easy one to accept. When I first woke up, I felt finally more normal,” the man was quoted as saying by the Washington Post in a release. He has asked to remain anonymous.
The donor is said to be from New England. Details about his cause of death and other information are not known much.