Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles These days it seems like we can stitch any part of the body to anyone. People are getting new livers, hands, even faces. But what about penises? Hi everyone, Julian here for DNews. It’s a sad reality that, as long as you have a body, you can lose pieces of it. Accidents or tragedies can leave people missing parts of themselves and until very recently, they would have to cope with the loss for the rest of their lives. Soldiers wounded in war know that reality all too often, as Improvised Explosive Devices, also known as IEDs, frequently maim the men and women they don’t outright kill. Denise Grady of the New York Times reported that often times male soldiers who wake up from surgery are foremost concerned if their genitals are intact. Sergeant First Class Aaron Causey lost both legs and a testicle to an IED and said that the psychological trauma of the genital damage made it so much worse than the physical loss. With that in mind, doctors are preparing to perform the first ever penis transplant in the United States within the next year. Two previous attempts have been reported to journals, so the surgery is still every experimental. So much so that the surgeons at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have been researching and practicing on cadavers in preparation. They’ve used brightly colored food dyes to map out the circulatory system in the cadaver penises and have discovered previously unknown aspects of the blood supply.. When it comes time for the operation, they’ll have to connect two to six nerves, six or seven arteries, and the urethra, the tube that runs inside the penis. If all goes well, they expect the grafted member to be more than just for show. After allowing a few months for healing, the doctors expect the ability to urinate and feel sensation through it will be restored. Eventually the patient will even be able to use it for sex again. Of course if you have a penis, or even if you don’t, the thought of having someone else’s attached may concern you. That’s actually why the first ever penis transplant in China back in 2006 failed. The operation was a success, but after 15 days the patient claimed the psychological effects couldn’t be overcome, and the operation was reversed. Dr. Gerald Brandacher of Johns Hopkins isn’t as concerned. He’s grafted new hands onto patients since 1998, and although hands are a deeply personal part of our anatomy every patient he’s ever had immediately started referring to the replacement as though it were their own. If they do regain the ability to have sex, there’s something else that can be their own too; their children. So long as a testicle was left intact, then the genetic material they pass on will be their own. In fact, the second and thus far only successful recipient of a donor penis, a young man in South Africa who underwent surgery in 2014, reported this year that he would become a father. No loss of a body part is ever easy, but the stigma that comes with injured genitals makes it that much more difficult. If the operation at Johns Hopkins is a success and moves out of the realm of experimental surgery, it will go a long way towards helping wounded veterans or similarly injured civilians heal. A transplant is more complicated than just sewing everything together, and many of them fail. Julia explains why it’s not a perfect solution here.