Man Receives First Penis Transplant in the US
Science| | By Lauren Boudreau
“I wouldn’t go near anybody,” he told the New York Times. The operation left him with a deflated ego and lost sense of self. “I couldn’t have a relationship with anybody. You can’t tell a woman, ‘I had a penis amputation,'” he said. Doctors were initially skeptical, but after a slew of tests, Manning was approved for the transplant and the surgical team spent three years preparing for it. According to the Times, “The team did meticulous dissections in a cadaver lab to map out anatomy, and operated on five or six dead donors to practice removing the tissue needed for the transplants.” Manning’s surgery took about 15 hours and involved 30 other healthcare workers. After the team had finished their training, Manning was called to see if he still wanted the procedure, and not even two weeks later, a donor was found. Now, Manning is recovering from his surgery, which took place May 8 and 9, but is still hesitant to look at the finished product. Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo, a plastic surgeon and leader of the team, said if all goes well, he should be able to urinate normally in a few weeks, with sexual ability returning after a few months. But the biggest reason Manning is detailing his experience is because he doesn’t want there to be any shame or stigma surrounding a penis transplant. “Don’t hide behind a rock,” he said, noting that men tend to “judge their masculinity with their bodies.” While he may need to be on anti-rejection medication for the rest of his life, Manning says he’s still better off than where he was before. The Times also reports that another patient who suffered severe burns is on the list to receive the procedure next. Doctors also hope to perform the surgery on veterans, but will perfect their technique on civilian patients first. The transplant won’t yet be available for transgender patients. Only two other penis transplants have taken place in the world, a successful one in South Africa and an unsuccessful one in China.