Veteran who survived blast receives world's first-ever penis and scrotum transplant

World's first penis and scrotum transplant performed in US – PHOTOS

"It's a real mind-boggling injury to suffer, it is not an easy one to accept", said the recipient, who chooses to remain anonymous.

"I feel whole again", he said a month after surgery, the New York Times reported.

The scientists behind the work have been preparing for this type of transplant for approximately five years, and they may be able to use the same technique on other injured veterans in the future.

The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine conducted the surgery for around 14 hours on Tuesday and transplanted an entire penis, a scrotum, and parts of an abdominal wall from a deceased patient to a living one. 1-23 Infantry based at Zangabad forward operating base in Panjwai district, after an Anti Personnel Obstacle Breaching System detonates on a nearby road during a dawn operation at Naja-bien village on September 23, 2012. The doctors did not transplant the donor's testicles to prevent genetic material to be passed on from the donor which the hospital believes is unethical, reports Time. "We just felt there were too many unanswered ethical questions" with that extra step, said Hopkins' Dr. Damon Cooney.

In medical terms, the surgery is called a vascularised composite allotransplantation - which is all to say that the process involves transplanting skin, bone, muscles, tendons and blood vessels.

Nine plastic surgeons, two urological surgeons and a team of anaesthesiologists, nurses and surgical technicians have completed the world's first full penis and scrotum transplant.

The procedure, which was not covered by the patient's insurance, was estimated to have cost between $300,000 to $400,000, the majority of which was covered by the hospital.

"It is our hope that such a life-changing transplant will allow [the patient] to regain urinary and sexual functions and lead a normal life", Dr Richard Redett, an associate professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins said. The procedure took 15 hours and involved more than 50 doctors from multiple different departments.

The world's first penis transplant was performed in 2014 in South Africa by doctors of the Stellenbosch University (SU) and the Tygerberg Academic Hospital in Cape Town. "Genito-urinary injury, where the male service members" external genitalia are lost or severely damaged, is one such "unspoken injury of war'".

The patient's injury in Afghanistan also necessitated the amputation of both of his legs above the knee.

Doctors said they had no plans to use the procedure for gender reassignment surgeries at the moment.

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