Missing limbs have become a well-known symbol of these wars, but genital damage is a hidden wound cloaked in shame, stigma and embarrassment.
Surgeons at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine say they are preparing to conduct penis transplants, the New York Times reports. The United States’ first penis transplant will be performed for a veteran returning from Afghanistan who suffered damage to his sexual organ. The organ will come from a deceased donor.
The world’s first successful penis transplant was completed last year in South Africa for a 21-year-old man whose penis was amputated because of a botched circumcision during a coming-of-age ceremony. The transplant was successful and the man has gained full function.