First US penis transplant recipient opens up about his new ‘friend’.

A man who lost his penis to cancer has successfully received the first penis transplant in the United States.

Bank courier Thomas Manning from Halifax, Massachusetts endured a 15-hour surgery in order to receive the organ from its deceased donor.

The 64-year-old spoke to The New York Times from the safety of his hospital room, explaining that all he wanted was to resume his normal life.

“I want to go back to being who I was,” he said.

Manning said he had experienced hardly any pain since the operation that took place nearly two weeks ago.

Advertisement Source: Screenshot/WCVB

Leader of Manning's surgical team, plastic and reconstructive surgeon Curtis L. Cetrulo said though the results were positive, there was still a great deal they couldn't foresee due to the novelty of the procedure.

"We're cautiously optimistic," he said.

Cetrulo said that Manning should be able to urinate normally over the next few weeks and recover sexual function in the weeks to months to come.

Manning will however be taking anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life. Cetrulo said that one of these drugs, tacrolimus, may speed nerve regeneration in order to assist in restoring function to the transplant.

Manning's operation is the third penis transplant to have ever been reported. The first was in 2006 in China and the second in South Africa in 2014.

The Chinese transplant is said to have failed but the South African recipient has been reported as going on to father a child.

Cetrulo said the estimated cost for such a procedure was around $68, 000 to $102, 000.

The hospitals involved in Manning's operation are covering the procedure with doctors donating their time.

Screenshot/WCVB.

The surgery is still considered experimental and is part of a larger program that aims to assist combat veterans, cancer patients and victims of accidents.

Veterans are a central focus of transplant programs as suicide rates jump exponentially for soldiers with damage to their genitalia.

“They’re 18 to 20-year-old guys, and they feel they have no hope of intimacy or a sexual life,” Cetrulo said.

“They can’t even go to the bathroom standing up.”

Manning wanted to speak publicly about the operation in order to combat the shame and stigma that is often associated with genital cancers and injuries.

He hoped that by doing so more men would understand that full recoveries were a very real possibility.

There is currently one other patient who is awaiting a suitable donor after his penis destroyed in a fire.

Watch the local reporting of the procedure and Manning's story.

Video via WCVB

JOIN THE CONVERSATION
FROM OUR NETWORK