Injured US soldier receives history-making penis, scrotum transplant

An American soldier whose genitals were blown off in a bomb blast in Afghanistan says he’s feeling “whole now” after a breakthrough penis and scrotum transplant.

Surgeons at Johns Hopkins carry out the implant. Picture: Johns Hopkins University
Doctors in the US have revealed photos from the world’s first penis and scrotum transplant after a soldier’s genitalia were blown off in bomb blast.

Surgeons at the famed Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore had to invent new techniques so that blood could flow into the veteran’s new, donated penis.

According to The Sun, the man is now able to achieve a near-normal erection and can orgasm again, according to a case report published in the New England Journal of Medicine – a year after the op.
The soldier, named only as “Ray”, hailed the groundbreaking operation “the best decision I ever made” and now “feels whole again”.

He was tending to wounded soldiers under an ambush by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan when an IED detonated beneath him.

The explosion in 2010 took away the US Navy corpsman’s legs above the knee – as well as his genitalia, which was the most devastating for him.

In an interview with MIT Technology Review, he said: 

I remember everything froze and I was upside down. I remember thinking a quick thought: ‘This isn’t good.’ And then I was on my back.

In 2013, Ray met with a plastic surgeon, Dr Richard Redett of Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, to talk about his options.

Dr Redett said that Ray, who is in his mid-30s and walks with two prosthetic legs, might be an ideal candidate to undergo a landmark penis transplant.

Ray said: 

This was actually something that could fix me. I could go back to being normal again.

Dr Reddett told NBC News in the US that Ray is “doing very well”. “It’s the first time he’s felt normal in a long time.”

Until recently, the only treatment available for men in his situation would have been phalloplasty – a transplant of a makeshift member made of tissue, blood vessels and nerves taken from a forearm or thigh, which requires an external pump to become erect.

A penis transplant is far more complex than other types of organ transplants.

This story was originally published in The Sun

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