The first ever penis transplant will soon take place in the US.

A soldier who was wounded in an explosion, and who lost most of his penis, will be the first to receive the transplant.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital last year announced that they intended to go ahead with the groundbreaking surgery soon. 

Soldiers salute the U.S. flag during a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at a welcome home ceremony for soldiers returning from a deployment in Afghanistan, at Fort. Carson, Colo., Wednesday Dec. 5, 2012. Nearly 300 soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, returned home after a tour of duty that began in February. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

While the surgery will, if successful, be offered to around 60 veterans who have been the victim of similar injuries, it could eventually be opened up to trans men, or men with birth defects.

Surgeons at the hospital will use a donor organ gained from a recently deceased man, but the family must approve of the penis being removed.

They intend to provide a fully functional penis.

Blood vessels and nerves must be attached under a microscope in order for the surgery to be successful.

Dr Richard Redett, a plastic surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital said: “When you meet these guys and you realise what they’ve given for the country, it makes a lot of sense.”

Once surgeons have found a donor with an appropriate skin colour and age, the surgery will happen in coming weeks.

surgery

Surgeons transplant the scrotum, thigh skin and penis, but the testes are not transplanted.

Two penis transplants are known to have taken place previously – one in 2006, in China, which was unsuccessful.

A second, performed in 2014 in South Africa, was successful.