We Spoke to the Surgeon Who Gave a Man His Penis Back

Sheherzad Preisler in Nautilus:

11078_b015f24e9c4eaa54104d9abcbc99b2d0In May this year, Curtis Cetrulo, a plastic-reconstructive surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, performed the first penis transplant in the United States. Previously his patient, Thomas Manning, 64, had most of his penis amputated to stem penis cancer, a rare form of the disease. Since the transplant, Manning has received a wave of media attention, and been a remarkably good sport about it. After the amputation, he told the New York Times, “I couldn’t have a relationship with anybody. You can’t tell a woman, ‘I had a penis amputation.’”

Cetrulo is thankful that Manning has been so good-natured about the media attention . “He’s doing it because he wants people to realize there’s some hope, despite the fact that no one’s talking about it,” Cetrulo says. And they should be. “The penile transplant-seeking patient population is desperate,” Cetrulo says. According to Cetrulo, more than 1,500 soldiers have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan who are awaiting penile transplants.

We spoke to Cetrulo about Manning’s operation, how Manning’s faring, and about the future of penis-transplant surgery.

How did you get involved in transplanting penises?

We had done a hand transplant here in 2012, and I was presenting that case in our transplant rounds when two people approached me and asked if this was possible for penile transplants.

More here.