Thomas Manning, a 64-year-old man from Halifax, walked out of Massachusetts General Hospital last Wednesday. He first got to the hospital three weeks ago where he spent around 15 hours in a surgery room where doctors transplanted a penis into his body. Local media filmed as he left the facility safe and sound with a very positive attitude.

“I got the A-Team here,” he said. “They’ve been taking care of me like you can’t imagine. I’m recovering no matter what they do to me.”

Thomas Manning is the first man in the US to undergo a penis transplant. Picture: AP.

A test of courage

Mr. Manning was diagnosed with penile cancer which occurs when the tissues in the male reproductive organ develop malignant cells. Specialists believe that the glans plays a significant role in the appearance of the disease. They point out that a lot of risk factors involve that particular part of the penis. Bad hygiene and multiple sex partners increase the risk of diagnosis. It is especially worse for people over 60 years old. Also, the use of tobacco has been linked to increased chances of getting penile cancer.

After Thomas Manning had been amputated, he asked the doctors if there was the possibility of a transplant. By that time, there were only 2 cases of successful penis transplants and neither of them were performed in the United States. Moreover, Mr. Thomas had to wait in a list with a whole lot of people who had lost their reproductive organ in a variety of circumstances, such as wounded soldiers or car accident victims.

Nevertheless, he was chosen to be the first citizen of the United States to go through the procedure. He arrived Massachusetts General Hospital in May where the team got ready and successfully, saw the surgery to an end. There were some complications, but in the end, the man from Halifax says he can urinate normally. However, sexual performance is not expected to happen for the first three months of recovery.

A tough decision

Cancer is dreadful news, but it can be devastating for a man when the disease affects such a vital part. Be able to put their bodies into the hands of a surgeon without any guarantees is a troublesome idea for people, but Mr. Manning made the decision, in spite of being the first person in all the country ever to do it.

However, it is important to understand that Thomas is the first man going through a penis transplant. Around the world, including the United States, a lot of surgeries to remove a man’s reproductive organ are carried out. The procedure is called penectomy.

When there are lessons in the coronal sulcus, the glans or the shaft, doctors can present the patient amputation as the best possible solution. However, in most cases, they only remove part of the organ leaving a functional urinary track, and sometimes, patients can still perform intercourse without any problems. The follow-up of Thomas Manning’s case could give hope to a lot of men.

Source: New York Times