The first penis transplant in the United States is ready. It will be conducted at John Hopkins University on an unnamed soldier, who was wounded in an explosion, will be the man to undergo the procedure in the U.S., according to ABC News.
The university announced plans for the surgery back in December, but now doctors have identified a patient to undergo the 12-hour procedure that involves connecting nerves and blood vessels under a microscope.
After this first surgery, other veterans will be the target demographic.
“When you meet these guys and you realize what they’ve given for the country, it makes a lot of sense,” said Dr. Richard Redett, a Johns Hopkins Hospital plastic surgeon who will help with the operation.
Leading up to the first penis transplant, surgeons are practicing on cadavers — and the penis itself will come from a deceased donor.
The procedure could occur in the next few weeks, once docs find a donor of the right age and skin color and with consenting next of kin, according to The Washington Post.
In addition to having his penis replaced, the unnamed vet will also have his scrotum, groin and parts of his abdominal wall and inner thigh replaced.
“We’ve sorted out how to take that block of tissue from a donor and give it to a recipient,” Redett said.
This will be just the third attempt at a penis transplant. The first attempt in China in 2006 failed.
The second attempt — in South Africa in 2014 — was a success.
This surgery will pave the way for future penile transplants, possibly including 60 more wounded vets who might qualify for the procedure.
The procedure will restore sexual function, but because it doesn’t involve the testes any future offspring will be the genetic offspring of the vet, not the donor.
Although only wounded vets are eligible for the first penis transplant, in the future docs could open it up to transgender women and men with birth defects.