A cancer patient received the first U.S. penis transplant at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) on May 16.
The team of surgical experts confirmed in a press release that they were able to successfully complete the first genitourinary reconstructive (penile) transplant in the U.S., giving hope to other patients with similar problems.
Focus On The Surgical Operation
The procedure medically termed as genitourinary vascularized composite allograft (GUVCA) transplant lasted for 15 hours and involved grafting the very intricate veins and nerves of the donor organ onto the similar structures of the patient.
The recent surgical success was the culmination of the 3.5 years of research and hard work of a multidisciplinary team of experts in the institution.
MGH's Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo, Jr. and Dr. Dicken S.C. Ko started researching about GUVCA transplant in 2012, after a group headed by Cetrulo performed their first hand transplant. The duo worked together with New England Organ Bank to develop key surgical strategies to aid patients with genitourinary damages.
The three major objectives of the operation are to repair the external private organ and make it look as close as possible to the natural one, restore urinary function and possibly attain sexual abilities.
Getting To Know The Patient
The patient is 64-year-old Thomas Manning from Halifax. He was diagnosed with penile cancer and had to undergo amputation of the penis in 2012.
Manning seems to be recovering well from his recent surgery as he has no signs of dangerous bleeding, rejection symptoms or infection. His surgeons are optimistic that the patient can restore his sexual function.
Manning is open to sharing his story to the world in the hopes of helping others who may also take advantage of the procedure. After the surgery, he says that he will begin a new phase in his life rich with hope for himself and for others, especially service members who put their lives at risk and suffer bodily damages as a result.
"In sharing this success with all of you, it's my hope we can usher in a bright future for this type of transplantation," Manning says.
The former service member also thanked his family, doctors and the generous family of the donor for giving him a chance to start life anew.
Penile loss can truly be heartbreaking to an individual's identity and manhood. Some people may live with the physical consequences of the condition, but the psychological effects can be too much to take.
Cetrulo says the team hopes to lift the despair of patients with genitourinary problems through these reconstructive procedures.
The entire endeavor is the product of a multidisciplinary team's hard work. Ko credits the experts involved in the care, as well as MGH's surgical expertise.
New England Organ Bank CEO Alexandra Glazier also noted the significant contribution of the donor's family, who wishes Manning the best. She extends her sympathy for the loss of their loved one and deep appreciation for their humanity.