Thomas Manning, a 64-year-old bank courier from Halifax, Massachusetts, has become the first man in the United States to undergo a penis transplant. According to the New York Times, Manning received the new penis from a deceased donor after his own organ was removed because of cancer. The landmark surgery, which lasted over 15 hours, was performed at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on May 8 and 9.
Recovering after the marathon surgery, Manning said on Friday he was happy to be out of bed after the surgery. He also expressed his desire to get back to normal life as soon as possible.
“I want to go back to being who I was,” Manning told reporters.
The team of doctors who performed the landmark surgery are optimistic about the success of the procedure. Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and a leader of the surgical team, admits that the procedure was “uncharted waters” for them. He added that his team was “cautiously optimistic” about Mr. Manning’s complete recovery.
Man receives first penis transplant in United States https://t.co/shvrpjcGnW pic.twitter.com/vpmuw5S2wf
— Nana Coker (@nanacokerdotcom) May 16, 2016
The procedure is still in its experimental stages. It was created as part of a research program that aimed to help combat veterans who suffered severe pelvic injuries while on duty. Accident victims and cancer patients like Thomas Manning could also, in the future, depend on surgeries like these to lead a normal life even after suffering horrible, life-altering injuries. According to the team of doctors who performed the surgery, it took them three years of preparations to perform the procedure on Manning who was diagnosed with penile cancer back in 2012. The operation also involved 30 healthcare workers apart from a large team of doctors. The need for penis transplant procedures is highlighted from the grim statistics released by the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. According to them, more than 1,367 men have suffered genitourinary injuries in Iraq or Afghanistan – from 2001 to 2013 with many of them losing part of or all of their penises.
Meanwhile, doctors who performed the procedure added that Mr. Manning could start urinating normally within a few weeks. He is also expected to regain normal sexual functions within a few months. Mr. Manning was open to questions from reporters and welcomed all kinds of queries from them and said that he wished to speak about his experience as part of his goal to dispel the shame and stigma that come attached with cancer and injuries that affect the genitalia. He adds that his attempt would help other men facing similar problems see a ray of hope. According to Manning, many people close to him advised him to keep his operation under wraps. He never heeded the advise.
“I didn’t advertise, but if people asked, I told them the truth.”
Thomas Manning is aware that several people would make jokes at his expense. However, he is determined not to be bogged down.
“Men judge their masculinity with their bodies,” he said.
The first penis transplant is set to pave way for more such transplants, Dr. Cetrulo revealed. In fact, another patient who was injured in a car crash is awaiting a penis transplant procedure as soon as a matching donor becomes available. Another man, a combat veteran from Afghanistan is also in the waiting list to undergo a penis transplant, he revealed.
— delcrookes (@hairydel) May 16, 2016
As for the cost involved, Dr. Cetrulo estimates that the procedure could cost anything between $50,000 to $70,000. However, for this surgery, the hospital paid for it. In fact, the doctors who performed it were also doing it for free by donating their time.
Penis transplant surgeries are extremely rare and only four such surgeries have been documented so far. The first one was reported from China a decade ago. However, it was not successful. Another penis transplant was reported from South Africa back in 2014. The recipient man from that surgery has also reportedly fathered a child following the procedure, reports add.
[Image Via Pixabay]