BALTIMORE - A wounded veteran will become the first patient in the United States to have a penis transplant.
A team of 30 people at Johns Hopkins Hospital will be involved in the 12-hour operation, which will involve stitching key nerves and blood vessels to restore both urinary and sexual function to the veteran.
The procedure was successfully completed in South Africa last year on a patient to repair a botched circumcision. And a few months after the transplant, that person was able to biologically father a child.
Dr. Richard Redett is one of eight surgeons on the team and he says it's difficult to understand what it's like to live with these issues until you meet someone who is dealing with it. And once you meet that person, it is easy to understand why this surgery needs to be done.
The first procedure will involve a penis donated by a young deceased donor with the family's permission. And according to the surgical team, they hope the veteran will regain sensation within the next year.