A wounded warrior, who lost his penis, scrotum, testes and legs when he stepped on a bomb in Afghanistan, underwent a successful penis transplant a year ago and has now regained his lost genitourinary functions.
The transplant also included many of the blood vessels, nerves, and muscles that serve the penile organ, which has helped him regain his lost sexual and urinary function.
The case was reported in Thursday’s edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
According to the LA Times, a team of surgeons at John Hopkins University performed the successful penis transplant on the young serviceman, who is the forth-ever person to undergo such a procedure. Only three other successful penis transplants were reported before this one. Two in South Africa and one at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The soldier underwent the complex surgical procedure a year ago and now he is able to urinate while standing, which is not short of a miracle for someone with genitourinary injuries. In addition, the doctors said the recipient experiences nearly normal erections and orgasm, which means he can have a satisfying sex life.
Dr. Richard Redett, the transplant surgeon, said, “The patient feels whole again,” adding that he now continues to live independently and has also returned to school full time.
It took a total of 35 medical professionals to perform the exhaustive 14-hour surgery.
The medical team said, “He is very satisfied with the transplant and the implications it carries for his future.”
The team explained that the process of this operation is complex, long and challenging.
A study published in The Journal of Urology has found that more than 1,400 soldiers have sustained genital injuries from 2001 to 2013 in Iraq and Afghanistan. The latest veteran’s case could be one of many successes of the John Hopkins University’s plan to performing more penis transplants for wounded veterans.