The eye of the beholder?
The first penis transplant was successfully performed a few weeks ago in China. A 44-year-old man, who had had his penis irreparably injured in an accident, underwent the 15-hour trailblazing transplantation at Gaungzhou General Hospital.
The man had the misfortune to be eligible for the transplant due to the injury to his penis eight months ago that had left him with a 1-centimeter long stump that he could use to neither urinate properly nor engage in sexual intercourse. During the transplant, he had a 10-centimeter (4 inch) long penis, which had been donated by the family of a brain dead young man, attached in an incredibly complicated microsurgery. The transplantation was considered a success. The nerves and blood vessels were attached, and ten days after the procedure, the man was able to use the penis to urinate.
So, can he have sex? We will never know.
Two weeks after the penis transplant was completed, the man returned to the hospital to have the donated organ removed. That’s right. Now you see it, now you don’t.
It seems that the penis was causing more pain than pleasure. The problem was not physical pain. By all accounts the patient was healing nicely and on schedule. The blood supply to the organ was adequate, and it was functioning well.
No, apparently the patient’s wife objected to the unfamiliar organ, and was traumatized by its presence. The couple had made the transplantation decision together with the medical team, and both requested that the procedure be performed. But in the end, the wife just could not handle the addition of the new member of the family.
“Because of a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife, the transplanted penis regretfully had to be cut off,” said Dr Weilie Hu, the surgeon who led the team that performed the transplant, according to Reuters. “The patient finally decided to give up the treatment because of the wife’s psychological rejection, as well as the swollen shape of the transplanted penis.” Dr Hu added that more cases and longer observation would be required to determine whether sexual sensation and function can be restored in a transplanted penis.
The case, which will be published in a paper about the procedure next month in the medical journal European Urology, has raised eyebrows throughout the world. After all, a donated penis is hard to come by.
Now, I just can’t help wondering. Was there no one who could intervene on the penis’s behalf? Perhaps, say, the family of the donor? I wonder how it might have impacted them to make such a gift, only to have it returned in such short order.
And can two weeks really be enough time enough time to determine whether or not you can adjust to a new penis? I am unable to break in a new pair of shoes in less than a month.
Well, in end, the nays had it. And the penis is for naught.