Veteran who survived blast in Afghanistan receives penis transplant

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John Hopkins University School of Medicine announced today that a USA military sergeant who was severely injured in an Afghanistan bombing several years ago has received the world's first total penis and scrotum transplant.

Doctors said they are hopeful they've been able to restore near-normal urinary and sexual functions for the young man, who wishes to remain anonymous.

The Johns Hopkins team consisted of nine plastic surgeons and two urological surgeons (some members of the same surgical team were responsible for a rare double-arm transplant in 2012 for a soldier wounded in Iraq.). The testicles would have contained the sperm from the recently deceased donor.

"It's a real mind-boggling injury to suffer, it is not an easy one to accept", the veteran said. The veteran also said that, thanks to the surgery he now feels more normal than before and that his confidence has returned thanks to the surgery. "Confidence ... like finally I'm okay now". Doctors expect him to be discharged from the hospital later this week.

Olguin, who now works for the Disabled American Veterans in Roanoke, Va., says he feels fortunate that he didn't sustain that injury, even though he lost part of his right leg. In 2016, surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital performed the first penis transplant in the US on a man who had his penis amputated due to penile cancer. To reduce the risk that his body would reject his new penis and scrotum, the patient received a bone marrow transplant from the organ donor.

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Doctors sometimes reconstruct the form of a penis from a patient's own skin, usually to treat congenital abnormalities or during transgender surgery.

The patient, who did not want to be identified, said he felt more complete immediately after the procedure. The hospital said the patient regained all urinary, reproductive and sexual functions with his new penis.

While several penis transplants have been conducted around the worldover the past few years, this is the most extensive transplant ever done, because of the degree to which the explosive blast damaged tissue in the soldier's groin and pelvic region.

The veteran is on a regimen of drugs created to minimize the risk of tissue rejection and is expected to leave the hospital this week. On Monday, the hospital where the operation was performed announced that the procedure had been a success.

Most organ transplants require the family to make a quick decision to donate after someone dies.

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