Wounded soldier gets world's first penis transplant in US operation

April 23 (Reuters) - A soldier wounded by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan has received the world's first complete penis and scrotum transplant, officials at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore said on Monday.

A team of nine plastic surgeons and two urological surgeons operated on the veteran, whose nationality was not disclosed, for 14 hours on March 26, the hospital said in a statement.

The team transplanted an entire penis, a scrotum without testicles and a partial abdominal wall from a deceased donor. The wounded man, who requested anonymity, has recovered from the surgery and is expected to be discharged from the hospital this week.

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Inside Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland
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Inside Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland
Surgical Robots, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
Dr. Niraj Desai (C) and others prepare a kidney for a recipient during a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital June 26, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.The US Supreme Court is expected to announce their decision on the US President Barack Obama's healthcare law on June 28. The ruling could affect millions of its residents and determine whether the state receives billions in new federal revenue. The full impact, of course, depends on how the justices rule, since they could throw out the law entirely, declare it all constitutional, or reject portions of it, such as mandated insurance for most Americans. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
Dr. Niraj Desai (L) sews in a kidney to a recipient patient during a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital June 26, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. Doctors from Johns Hopkins transplanted the kidney from a living donor into the patient recipient. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
Dr. Niraj Desai carries a kidney to a recipient during a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital June 26, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. Doctors from Johns Hopkins transplanted the kidney from a living donor into the patient recipient. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
Asurgical team led by physicians at The Johns Hopkins Hospital's performed the hospital's first double arm transplant. The patient was Brendan M. Marrocco, a 26-year-old infantryman who lost all four limbs in a 2009 roadside bomb attack in Iraq. Marrocco received a transplant of two arms from a deceased donor, becoming one of only seven people in the United States who have undergone successful double hand transplants. (Photo by Johns Hopkins Hospital/Handout/Corbis via Getty Images)
Asurgical team led by physicians at The Johns Hopkins Hospital's performed the hospital's first double arm transplant. The patient was Brendan M. Marrocco, a 26-year-old infantryman who lost all four limbs in a 2009 roadside bomb attack in Iraq. Marrocco received a transplant of two arms from a deceased donor, becoming one of only seven people in the United States who have undergone successful double hand transplants. (Photo by Johns Hopkins Hospital/Handout/Corbis via Getty Images)
Dr. Megan Collins, right, a pediatric ophthalmologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, gives a vision screening to third-grader Alexander Dominguez. The screenings are part of the Baltimore Reading and Eye Disease Study (BREDS) to discover if reading difficulties are tied to poor vision. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images)
Dr. Niraj Desai looks down as he prepares a kidney for transparent during a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital June 26, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. The US Supreme Court is expected to announce their decision on the US President Barack Obama's healthcare law on June 28. The ruling could affect millions of its residents and determine whether the state receives billions in new federal revenue. The full impact, of course, depends on how the justices rule, since they could throw out the law entirely, declare it all constitutional, or reject portions of it, such as mandated insurance for most Americans. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
Dr. Dorry Segev washes after a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital June 26, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. Doctors from Johns Hopkins transplanted the kidney from a living donor into the patient recipient. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
A doctor prepares for a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital June 26, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. Doctors from Johns Hopkins transplanted the kidney from a living donor into the patient recipient. The US Supreme Court is expected to announce their decision on the US President Barack Obama's healthcare law on June 28. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
Dr. Dorry Segev speaks with a kidney donor watches as a consent form is singed by a witness before a kidney transplant operation at Johns Hopkins Hospital June 26, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. Doctors from Johns Hopkins transplanted the kidney from a living donor into the patient recipient. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
Dr. Niraj Desai waits for a kidney to be removed from a donor during a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital June 26, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. Doctors from Johns Hopkins transplanted the kidney from a living donor into the patient recipient. The US Supreme Court is expected to announce their decision on the US President Barack Obama's healthcare law on June 28. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
BALTIMORE - AUGUST 15: Dr. Julie Brahmer (R) and Katie Thornton review PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans of a patient being treated at the Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins August 15, 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland. Since its inception in 1973, the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins has been dedicated to better understanding human cancers and finding more effective treatments. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE - AUGUST 15: PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans of a patient being treated at the Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins hang are illuminated August 15, 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland. Since its inception in 1973, the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins has been dedicated to better understanding human cancers and finding more effective treatments. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE - AUGUST 15: Dr. Julie Brahmer (R) and Katie Thornton (L) review the results of PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), shown in background, of a patient being treated at the Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins August 15, 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland. Since its inception in 1973, the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins has been dedicated to better understanding human cancers and finding more effective treatments. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE - AUGUST 15: Chemotherapy treatments for lung cancer patients are mixed in the pharmacy at the Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins August 15, 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland. Since its inception in 1973, the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins has been dedicated to better understanding human cancers and finding more effective treatments. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 5: Dr. Ionnis Varkarakis, Ph.D., M.D. (L) talks to hospital resident Albert Ong, as Ong controls the Robot Doctor at Johns Hopkins hospital September 9, 2003 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by David S. Holloway/Getty Images)
U.S. Army Sgt. Brendan Marrocco of Staten Island, New York, who lost his four limbs in a 2009 roadside bomb attack in Iraq, is pictured during a news conference after receiving double arm transplants, performed by a Hopkins medical team at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, Maryland January 29, 2013. With him are Johns Hopkins School of Medicine's Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Director W.P. Andrew Lee (R) and Johns Hopkins Medicine's Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Program Scientific Director Gerald Brandacher. REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY)
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“We are hopeful that this transplant will help restore near-normal urinary and sexual functions for this young man,” Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, the head of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in the statement.

The soldier called his injury from an improvised explosive device "mind-boggling" and difficult to accept. Details of the incident were not released.

“When I first woke up (after surgery), I felt finally more normal ... (with) a level of confidence as well. Confidence ... like finally I’m OK,” he said in the statement.

Johns Hopkins surgeons had performed the first U.S. double-arm transplant of two arms on a wounded service member in December.

(Photo: Johns Hopkins Medicine)

A transplant in which a body part or tissue is transferred from one individual to another is called vascularized composite allotransplantation. The surgery involves transplanting skin, muscles and tendons, nerves, bone and blood vessels.

Lee said that although it is possible to reconstruct a penis using tissue from other body parts, a prosthesis implant would be necessary to achieve an erection, and that comes with a much higher rate of infection.

In addition, service personnel often do not have enough viable tissue from other parts of their bodies to use because of other injuries, he said.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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