The procedure would be a major first in the U.S. medical community.
A soldier wounded in an explosion will be the first to get a penis transplant in the United States.
Johns Hopkins University announced that it would go forward with the procedure back in December and the university has just now identified who the patient will be, according to a Washington Post report.
The surgerywill take 12 hours and will involve connecting nerves and blood vessels. If successful, it could lead to more surgeries in dozens of other veterans who have been injured in the line of duty.
Surgeons have been practicing on cadavers in preparation for the surgery. They will collect a penis from a deceased donor for use in the operation. It could happen in the next few weeks — it all depends on when a specimen becomes available, which would have to be the right age and skin color, and the next of kin would have to consent to it.
The surgery will be more than attaching a penis. Doctors will also have to replace his scrotum, parts of his abdominal wall and inner thigh, and portions of his groin. Doctors have already figured out how they’re going to do this.
It will mark the third attempt at a penis transplant in the world. The first time it was attempted — in China in 2006 — the procedure was a failure, but in 2014 in South Africa doctors were successful.
There are approximately 60 or so wounded vets who would benefit from this surgery, so this procedure will be very important. The surgery would restore sexual function.