Johns Hopkins performs the first total penis and scrotum transplant

The veteran who received the surgery is recovering now and hopes to be discharged this week.

The first US penis transplant was successfully performed in 2016. Last year, a uterus transplant recipient gave birth for the first time in the US, too. Now, doctors at Johns Hopkins University have successfully transplanted an entire penis and scrotum to a young serviceman who sustained injuries in Afghanistan resulting in the loss of his genitals.

"We are hopeful that this transplant will help restore near-normal urinary and sexual functions for this young man," said Johns Hopkins' W.P. Andrew Lee, M.D. in a statement. Nine plastic surgeons and two urological specialists took 14 hours to transplant a deceased donor's entire penis and scrotum (minus testicles), along with a partial abdominal wall, to the young man, who wishes to remain anonymous.

"It's a real mind-boggling injury to suffer, it is not an easy one to accept," said the veteran in the statement. "When I first woke up, I felt finally more normal... [with] a level of confidence as well. Confidence... like finally I'm okay now." This kind of transplant, called vascularized composite allotransplantation, is another alternative to using a patient's own tissues to reconstruct a penis, which typically needs a prosthetic implant (which can introduce infection) to achieve full function, like erections. The current transplant recipient is on a course of immunosuppressive medication to prevent rejection of the transplanted tissue.