Sammy Nickalls
May 16, 2016 8:47 am
Shutterstock

Earlier this year, the Cleveland Clinic successfully conducted the United States’ first uterus transplant. Just last week, history was made yet again when doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston succeeded in transplanting a penis from a deceased donor  — the first successful penis transplant in the country.

New York Times reports that 64-year-old Thomas Manning, whose penis was removed due to genital cancer, went under the knife for 15 hours for a transplant operation on May 8th and 9th. The surgery was part of a research program that aims to aid cancer patients, accident victims, and combat veterans who have severe pelvic injuries. While the estimated surgery cost is $50,000 to $75,000, in this case the hospital paid for the procedure while the doctors donated their time.

If all goes well with his penis transplant, Manning should be able to urinate normally within a few weeks and engage in sex within a few weeks to a few months. “We’re cautiously optimistic,” Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo, a reconstructive surgeon and leader of the surgical team, told the Times. “It’s uncharted waters for us.”

According to Dr. Cetrulo, the program focuses on veterans because suicide rates are particularly high in soldiers who have intense damage to their genitals. “They’re 18- to 20-year-old guys, and they feel they have no hope of intimacy or a sexual life,” Dr. Cetrulo explained to the Times. “They can’t even go to the bathroom standing up.”

Back in 2012, Manning had an accident at work involving heavy equipment that sent him to the hospital — and ultimately saved his life, because doctors found an abnormal growth on his penis. If not for his accident, “I would have been in the ground two years ago,” he told the Times.

The only way to save his life was to remove the majority of his penis, leaving him unable to urinate standing up and unable to engage in intimacy. “I wouldn’t go near anybody,” he told the Times. “I couldn’t have a relationship with anybody. You can’t tell a woman, ‘I had a penis amputation.’ . . . Men judge their masculinity with their bodies.”

It’s truly unbelievable what feats we’ve accomplished so recently in the medical world to improve the lives of those who have already suffered so much. We’re extremely impressed by Mass General and can only hope that more men are the recipients of this incredible penis transplant surgery.

Advertisement