>> A US service member who was wounded by an IED in Afghanistan has become the recipient of the world's first penis and scrotum transplant. Surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore carried out the procedure almost a month ago, but only now made the announcement. They're calling it a success, but how much of a success won't be known for many months.
>> We expect the patient to be discharged from the hospital this week. Functional recovery however can take time, both in terms of urinary function and sexual function. A lot of the injured veterans tell us that when they don't have a portion of their external genitalia, or lost all of it, they don't feel whole.
So this is something that not only make them feel whole physically and psychologically, we think it helps to restore a sense of identify, their manhood.>> The procedure required not only transplanting the genitals, but also much of the surrounding lower abdomen, because the patient's injuries from the bomb blast were so extensive.
The doctors said that while reconstructions from other human tissue aren't unusual, a prosthetic would've been required to achieve an erection. And that, they say, comes with a much higher chance of infection. Also, one part is still missing. Well, two parts, the testicles themselves. The reason being that receiving them from a donor would raise legal and ethical questions, because the resulting sperm could carry the donor's DNA and not the patient's.
It's all obviously a sensitive subject for the recipient, who's asked to remain unidentified. But in a written statement he said he, quote, finally felt more normal after waking up from the surgery, like he's finally okay.