Man receives first penis transplant in the US after suffering from cancer

The doctors involved hope to be able to make the process much easier and less risky, and to eventually use the same techniques with wounded soldiers

A man has received the first ever penis transplant in the US, after having his penis removed because of cancer.

Surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston seem to be on their way to restoring full functioning to the man’s penis, which was transplanted in an operation as part of a programme intended eventually to make such treatment much easier and more common.

The organ was taken from a deceased donor. The operation took 15 hours and took place earlier this month.

The patient, Thomas Manning, is a 64-year-old bank courier from Massachusetts. He is feeling well and has experienced little pain, he told the New York Times.

The treatment remains experimental, but doctors described themselves as “cautiously optimistic”. If everything goes well, Mr Manning is expected to be able to urinate as normal within a few weeks, and to function sexually with months.

If the surgery works, it could eventually be used to help combat veterans who sustain severe pelvic injuries and other accident victims, as well as cancer patients like Mr Manning.

The team hopes to perfect the techniques on civilian patients but is then looking to move to injured veterans, they told the New York Times. The Department of Defense tends not to like its soldiers to undergo unproven techniques, since they have already suffered so much, and so will look to make the treatment available after further work.

Veterans are also more likely to benefit from further work that will be done into eliminating the need for anti-rejection medicines, which help the body integrate with its new organ. Since wounded veterans tend to be younger than those who would get organs because of cancer, those treatments can cause severe damage if they are forced to take the strong medicines for the entirety of their lives.

The first successful penis transplant was done in December 2014, in South Africa, on a patient who lost his penis during a circumcision. The recipient recovered far more quickly than doctors had expected and announced last year that he had conceived a child.

That followed a failed operation in China in 2006. Surgeons attempted to attach a penis to a man who lost his in an accident – though it was initially hailed as a success, surgeons removed it two weeks later because of a “severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in