A soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan from an IED blast just received a life-changing surgery.
According to the Baltimore Sun, a transplant recipient who wishes to remain anonymous is currently recovering at the hospital after a first of its kind procedure.
The penile reconstructive surgery was performed by a team of doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. It was the first surgery ever in which a penis, scrotum, and abdominal wall were transplanted on a patient.
According to USA Today, the patient did not receive testicles in the procedure to “avoid the ethical issues” as the testicles would have contained the sperm of the donor, who recently passed away.
While the transplant donor and his family wish to remain anonymous, they released a statement thanking the transplant recipient for his service to the United States. Fittingly, it was also reported that the donor came from a family of veterans.
Associate Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Dr. Richard Redett told the press that he hopes that the ground-breaking surgery will help the wounded soldier to regain both urinary and sexual function and lead a normal life. Redett also said that it will take about six months for sexual sensation and function to be regained.
In hopes that they will be able to perform more similar procedures in the near future, John Hopkins was gracious enough to cover the entire cost of the procedure. Nine plastic surgeons, as well as two urologists, also worked for free during the procedure.
— Hopkins Med News (@HopkinsMedNews) April 23, 2018
In all, the surgery ended up taking about 14 hours for doctors to complete back in March, the New York Post reports. The unnamed soldier also lost both of his legs after he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan but in an interview with Post, he confessed that the penile injury was more devastating to him, stating that he felt it was like he was banished from having a relationship due to his injury.
My latest… US veteran receives world’s first total penis, scrotum transplant https://t.co/BLWH4GziCw
— Joshua Rhett Miller (@joshuarhett) April 23, 2018
In the interview, the man also said that he feels “whole” again after having the surgery, whereas before he stated that he struggled to even see himself as a man.
But with his new outlook on life, the soldier confessed that he now has plans to go to medical school and just get back to doing normal, everyday things.
Two years ago, a similar procedure was done to penile cancer patient Thomas Manning at Massachusetts General Hospital. He continues to do well following the procedure.