He's expected to recover full use of the organ.
Today at Massachusetts General Hospital, surgeons completed a 15-hour operation on 64-year-old Thomas Manning. Manning, of Hallifax, MA, underwent the surgery to have the United State’s first ever penis transplant after the partial amputation of his own in 2012 due to penile cancer.
The penis transplant surgery required a team of 30 doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other medical staff. Apart from taking 15 hours to complete, the research into this procedure has been ongoing for 3 1/2 years, and required numerous departments to collaborate in order to accomplish this surgery. He was given a donor penis early on in May, and the surgical day was scheduled.
According to Dr. Curtis Cetrulo of Massachusetts General Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, “Today’s announcement is a major milestone in the field of transplantation, one of which will give hope to those who suffer from serious genital injuries. The entire transplant team has worked tirelessly to ensure that our patient is on a strong path to recovery, thanks in part to the gift of organ donation.”
The procedure, genitourinary vascularized composite allograft, or GUVCA for short, could mark a definitive shift in what surgeons are able to accomplish for people suffering from debilitating genital injuries or amputations. These people have to not only battle the physical aspects of a missing limb, but also psychological trauma that can ruin their lives.
“We are hopeful that these reconstructive techniques will allow us to alleviate the suffering and despair of those who have experienced devastating genitourinary injuries and are often so despondent they consider taking their own lives,” Cetrulo said.
Manning himself is also optimistic for what the future will hold with his new penis, and hopes that his surgery will pave the way to helping people with similar conditions.
“Today I begin a new chapter filled with personal hope and hope for others who have suffered genital injuries, particularly for our service members who put their lives on the line and suffer serious damage 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,” he said in a statement.
Though it’s still early, and he has a ways to go on the road to recovery, so far, things appear to be going well for Manning. There has been no bleeding or rejection from the organ, and his doctors are tentatively confident that he’ll make a full recovery and regain complete function of the organ.
We can only wish him good luck and hope that this surgery can indeed change the lives for so many other people to follow.