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Physicians unveil first transplant of male sexual organ

A team of doctors perform a vasectomy at the Nur Hidayah medical clinic outside Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Like many religiously-affiliated medical providers in Indonesia, the clinic offers extensive family planning services, including providing contraceptives and performing sterilizations. (Noam N. Levey/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Written by Tiarra Bell, Staff Writer

For this first time in U.S history, surgeons will perform a penis transplant on an American veteran that was brutally injured during combat.

The unnamed recipient lost majority of his penis during an explosion while deployed in Afghanistan.

Surgeons hope to find a penis transplant from a deceased man providing full functions including urination, sex, and sensation. Whoever is the donor, his family will need to give permission for the penis to be removed and surgically attached to the recipient.

There have only been two penis transplant procedures in the world. The first was in China in 2006 which ended in the patient wanting it to be removed. The second was in 2014 in South Africa that was so successful that the patient fathered a child.

The surgery could occur within a few weeks, pending the availability of a donor organ that fits age and skin requirements.

The penis transplant surgery does not involve the testes, so if a man has this procedure completed and to father a child, he will produce his own genetic offspring, not the donor’s.

A penis transplant also raises a lot of questions such as what are alternatives for penis transplants. What are the requirements for penis transplants receivers?

An alternative to a transplant is penis reconstruction. Penis reconstruction involves cutting a flap of skin along with blood vessels from other parts of the body and shaping it into a penis.

Then there is the expense that cost between $200,000 and $400,000 for a surgery that has never been done in the United States before and one that is not covered by insurance.

For now, penis transplants are only being considered for injured veterans. Eventually, the procedure could be performed on transgender men and women and men with birth defects.


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