May 2016 marked a medical breakthrough in the United States that has the potential to change many lives, not to mention the entire field of urology, for the better. At Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, a cancer patient received the first successful penis transplant ever. This was not only the first successful procedure of its kind in the United States, but also a worldwide scientific and medical breakthrough.
The operation itself took approximately 15 hours, as surgeons integrated a highly sensitive and complex neural network between the body of the patient and the donated organ.
Organ donations and transplants are becoming more and more common, but that doesn’t mean transplants are always available, or that they are always an option. Historically, transplants have been reserved for organs that are a medical necessity, such as a heart, kidney or liver. It is possible to live without a penis, though not at the same quality of life that one may have had previously.
For Thomas Manning, the 64-year-old banker who was the first to undergo this operation, cancer took away aspects of his life that he wasn’t willing to part with forever.
Being the first of its kind, the idea of a penis transplant is still largely experimental. However, with the first successful transplant completed and the patient adjusting well to his new post-surgical lifestyle, there is high hope that this could become an option for more people in the future. The surgery is designed to support combat veterans, cancer patients and accident victims who are left without a penis, or seriously maimed.
The most exciting aspect of the surgical transplant is the functionality of the donated organ. Because this was the first transplant of its kind, there is a waiting period to find out how the body will react to the operation. However, it is anticipated that urination will be possible after only a few weeks post-surgery, and full sexual function may be restored within a few months following the procedure.
This is a huge step in the field of urology. Previously, soldiers, cancer patients, and accident victims who experienced severe damage or loss of a penis would need medical intervention, like a catheter, in order to urinate, and they would lose sexual function. This transplant opens the door to a world of new opportunities, which can restore a healthy lifestyle to individuals who thought they might never be the same.
If you or a loved one have questions or would like to discuss, please contact Dr. Scott D. Miller, MD here or call (404) 705-5201.