TECH

First Penis Transplant In The U.S. To Help A Wounded Soldier

08/12/2015 14:50 GMT | Updated 08/12/2015 14:59 GMT

A young wounded American soldier, who fought in Afghanistan, will undergo the U.S.' first penis transplant, doctors have confirmed.

Although the 12-hour operation has never been done in the country before, surgeons said the procedure could take place within the next year or maybe even the next few months, the New York Times reported.

According to their predictions, the transplanted organ should give the soldier full urinary function and the ability to have sex.

surgery military

In future, the procedure could also restore the patient's ability to have children, if his testes are still intact after the injury.

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What typically happens during the procedure, is surgeons attach a penis from a deceased donor to the recipient.

This involves stitching together main blood vessels and nerves, under a microscope.

Once the recipient's nerves have grown into the transplant, doctors say this will restore full sexual function.

So far, only two transplant surgeries have taken place around the world - one in South Africa and the other in China, However, out of these only one procedure was successful.

John Hopkins has granted permission for 60 transplants to take place, with doctors being cautiously optimistic about the outcomes.

“Some hope to father children,” said Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee, chairman of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins.

Speaking to the New York Times he added: “I think that is a realistic goal.”