Transplants have become a common surgical procedure in which an organ like kidney, lung, liver, etc is taken from a donor and placed in the body of the patient to replace a damaged or missing organ. Organ transplant is a boon for several patients who would otherwise not survive in the absence of these life-saving organs.
Another organ transplant for which research has been ongoing for many years is a penis. Penis transplantation has now been performed a few times around the world and has seen some successes. A penile transplant is very different from a penile implant. In a penile implant, a device is placed inside the penis to help patients with Erectile Dysfunction, Peyronie's disease, ischemic Priapism, and other such disorders.
Penile Transplant on the other hand is a surgical procedure in which the patient receives a new penis which is mostly an allograft from a human donor. Although research is also being conducted to transplant an artificially grown penis, it is still a complex procedure and needs more research and advancements in technology to become a more common and successful transplant procedure.
Who requires a Penis Transplant?
Penis Transplant can be done on candidates who suffer from reduced penile functioning or the absence of a penis due to injury, congenital absence, removal of the penis due to a disease like cancer, or severe micropenis. Since a Penis transplant carries risk factors like any other transplant and is not even a common procedure, the patient must undergo some conditions to be eligible for the transplant. These conditions include:
The patents must be a cisgender male aged 18 to 69 years
The candidate must not have a history of HIV or Hepatitis.
The candidate should not have a history of cancer for at least five years before the surgery.
The patient must not have any condition that prevents them from taking immunosuppressive drugs.
Risk Factors of a Penile transplant
As with any other transplant, penis transplantation comes with its set of risk factors. Also since more successful transplants and research are required for a penile transplant, extra care must be taken to avoid risk factors. As more research gets done and more operations are conducted, new risk factors may also come to light. Common risk factors that are associated with a Penile transplant are:
The major concern with a penile transplant is the rejection of the donor organ by the patient’s body. The patients are therefore required to take immunosuppressive drugs daily for the rest of their lives. These drugs suppress the immune system’s response against the donor organ. Since the immune system is medically suppressed, the patient may be more prone to other common infections. Also, immunosuppressive drugs do not guarantee that the body will not reject the donor organ. There is still a 6-18% chance of organ rejection.
Another risk factor associated with penile transplant surgery is the narrowing of the urethra due to the scar tissue from the surgery. The patient could therefore face problems during urination.
Also, the scar tissue may cause some of the skin to not get a proper blood supply. This leads to the skin tissue in that area dying and coming off.
A penile injury affects the patient mentally. Although a successful transplant may help patients live life normally, they may still face psychological issues in accepting the new donor organ and adjusting to the new normal.
How can CARE Hospitals help?
Reconstructive penile transplant at CARE Hospitals can help you regain the lost confidence and lead a happy life. We have a comprehensive care team and a world-class facility at your disposal. To learn more about the procedure and to check if you are the right candidate, get in touch with us today.
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