Beginning early next year, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore will start performing penis transplants for the first time.
The hospital will perform the operations on 60 military veterans who have suffered genitourinary injuries in combat.
The chairman of plastic and re-constructive surgery at Johns Hopkins, Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee, told The New York Times that the operations are vital in addressing a problem that is not widely discussed, saying “These genitourinary injuries are not things we hear about or read about very often,
“I think one would agree it is as devastating as anything that our wounded warriors suffer, for a young man to come home in his early 20s with the pelvic area completely destroyed.”
This will be the first time a hospital in the US has attempted this kind of operation.
However back in March, the worlds first successful penis transplant was performed in South Africa.
The surgery will not be offered to transgender men seeking gender reassignment, but that does not mean the door is closed according to Jeffrey Kahn, a bioethicist at John Hopkins.
However he was quick to point out one potential problem that could be facing those who would be seeking a donor.
Speaking to The New York Times Kahn said “Once this becomes public and there’s some sense that this is successful and a good therapy,
“there will be all sorts of questions about whether you will do it for gender reassignment,”
“What do you say to the donor? A 23-year-old wounded in the line of duty has a very different sound than somebody who is seeking gender reassignment.”
The first operation will be performed in the new year on an unnamed man who was injured whilst serving in Afghanistan.