I love the miracles of medical science! I especially love it when medical science really helps people that have gone above and beyond for others.
This is one of those instances.
Surgeons at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will be performing the first penis transplant, in America, on a young soldier who suffered injury to his genitals, in a bomb blast in Afghanistan. The surgery will take place in 2016 and will use a penis from a deceased donor. Doctors say that once the surgery is completed, within a few months, the soldier should have full urinary and sexual function.
If you’ll remember, we posted about the world’s first successful transplant, which happened in South Africa — World’s First Successful Penis Transplant Makes Amazing Progress. It’s now being reported that this South African gentleman is now going to be a dad! Definitely a success!
Let’s hope our American soldier fares as well.
If all goes well, Johns Hopkins has been given permission to perform 60 penile transplant operations, on wounded soldiers. This is awesome news, considering the prevalence of this type of injury – and the fact that it really isn’t well known.
From 2001 to 2013, 1,367 men in military service sustained wounds to the genitals in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. Nearly all were under 35 years old and were hurt by homemade bombs, commonly called improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, sometimes losing all or part of their penises or testicles — what doctors call genitourinary injuries.
According to Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, the chairman of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins,
“These genitourinary injuries are not things we hear about or read about very often. I think one would agree it is as devastating as anything that our wounded warriors suffer, for a young man to come home in his early 20s with the pelvic area completely destroyed.”
Many of these men hope to father children someday. With the success of the South African transplant, this is now a possible reality. Plus, since it’s just the penis that is being replace on our American soldier, not his testicles, where sperm is produced, any children he fathers will genetically be his.
Our positive thoughts and prayers are headed to this unnamed soldier, that his surgery goes well, he heals quickly, and this is just the start of many more successful surgeries for these brave men that sacrifice so much for their country.