Surgeons in the Chinese city of Fuzhou have labelled a twelve-hour operation to graft a horse’s penis to a human patient ‘a success’ in what is believed to be the first such attempt. The recipient, a 28-year old Boston man who has not been named, travelled to China in May of this year to perform the surgery after American surgeons refused to attempt the procedure.
“Ethically, there is no way such an operation would ever be approved in the U.S., or indeed most western countries,” said Dr Charles Johansen, a leading transplant expert based in Seattle. “However, Chinese regulations are far more relaxed, and we often hear of ‘strange’ surgeries such as [the horse-penis transplant] being performed there.”
According to reports by Chinese-language media, the Boston man who was involved in the transplant lost his penis in a childhood accident. “For his entire life, he’d never been able to enjoy the things most of us take for granted,” commented the lead surgeon. “He’d been on a waiting list in the U.S. for many years for a human-penis transplant, but there were already many men ahead of him.”
As such, the Boston man decided to travel to China to attempt the unconventional surgery. “He asked us if we could perform a human-penis transplant at first,” revealed the surgeon, who admitted to denying the patient’s request. “We told him we were only interested in performing a horse-penis transplant, because that has never been done before, and many researchers believe it would be impossible.”
Faced with this ultimatum, the Boston man eventually agreed to participate in the surgery, which most medical experts believed would fail. “I would have rated the odds of success below 5%,” said Dr Johansen, who was amazed to learn that the transplant had been successful. “In theory, the DNA of a horse shouldn’t match at all with that of a human, but it appears the surgeons involved were able to prescribe anti-rejection drugs that helped the man’s body accept the new organ.”
After the surgery was performed in May 2016, the man has remained in Fuzhou recovering and receiving constant check-ups from a team of doctors. “We did anticipate it would take at least three months of recovery,” said one of the medical staff involved in the operation. “We are pleased to report that now the patient’s transplanted penis is fully operational.”
According to a report by local media, the Boston man has used the penis ‘for its full range of uses’ and found it functions as expected. “The only potential problem we’ve found so far is the length,” said one doctor. “The penis of a horse is far longer than that of a standard human male, so the patient has had some trouble with some women.”
However, on the whole, the feedback has been generally positive. “For a man who has lived most of his life without a sex organ, he has quickly adapted to having one,” commented the lead surgeon. The team involved in the transplant are also keen to continue their research, and are looking for other patients to conduct similar operations.