Manning, of Halifax, Massachusetts, became the first man in the United States to successfully undergo the highly delicate penile transplantation surgery. According to doctors, his penis had been amputated in 2012 after he was diagnosed with penile cancer.
Manning underwent a procedure called "genitourinary vascularized composite allograft," or GUVCA, performed successfully for the first time in the United States. The procedure involves surgically connecting intricate vascular and nerve structures of a donor penis with the body of the recipient.
Dr. Dicken Ko, director of the hospital's Regional Urology Program, said the objectives of the surgery were primarily to reconstruct the genitalia so that it appeared natural, and also to allow urinary function and, hopefully, sexual function.
A good outcome is expected, since the surgery was performed successfully in South Africa two years prior. To the surprise of the doctors, that patient recovered all biological functions before 2016, and successfully impregnated a woman.
"We are hopeful that these reconstructive techniques will allow us to alleviate the suffering and despair of those who have experienced devastating genitourinary injuries and are often so despondent they consider taking their own lives," said Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who led the transplant team, along with Dr. Dicken Ko.
According to Alexandra Glazier, CEO of the New England Organ Bank, the family of the donor — who is deceased — is praying for Manning's recovery. The family preferred to remain anonymous.
Penile transplantation was first performed successfully in 2006 in China. While a surgical success, the operation caused psychological trauma to the patient, forcing him to have the surgery reversed two weeks later. The procedure raised many ethical questions at the time, and a special set of guidelines was released shortly after.