The penile transplant should allow the soldier to eventually regain sexual function, said Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, a professor and director of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
"For reasons that we can all understand, the patient wishes to remain anonymous and requests to have his privacy respected".
"It's a real mind-boggling injury to suffer, it is not an easy one to accept", says the recipient.
The surgeons did not transplant new testicles for the patient or any germline tissue that could produce sperm, citing ethical issues.
The extensive operation involved not only a transplant of the donor's penis and scrotum, minus the testicles, but also a large skin graft to cover the patient's abdomen, penis and scrotum.
The surgery is the latest breakthrough for the Hopkins reconstructive team. That requires using implants to achieve erection.
Doctors have previously succeeded at transplanting penises only, so adding the scrotum represented an additional advance for surgeons.
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The veteran is on a regimen of drugs created to minimize the risk of tissue rejection and is expected to leave the hospital this week.
According to a report released past year, 1,367 male U.S. service members sustained one or more genitourinary (GU) injuries between October 2001 and August 2013. It's not clear how many victims lost all or part of the penis. But the Hopkins team says it took a long time to find a good match for this man, who had a rare blood type. Injured service members often don't have enough viable tissue to use in a reconstruction.
Little information has been released about the donor, who was from New England, or his cause of death, though his family released a statement through New England Donor Services about the transplant. Surgeons said that is enabling the veteran to take one anti-rejection drug instead of several.
Doctors performed the first-ever full penis & scrotum transplant! Each penis removal and injury can be different depending on which parts are removed, but surgeons hope that for at least some men, sexual function can be restored.
The first such operation in the USA transplanted an organ from a deceased donor to a 64-year-old penile cancer survivor, Thomas Manning of Halifax, Massachusetts.
The move is groundbreaking, and paves the way for the many other soldiers who have sustained genital injuries during combat.
"The bottom line is you can't worry about what other people think". On Monday, the hospital where the operation was performed announced that the procedure had been a success. "What's the big deal?"