Penile transplantation: the US experience and institutional program set-up
Penile transplantation using vascularized composite allografts is an emerging technique to treat genital loss. In the United States, this procedure has been performed successfully at Massachusetts General Hospital in a patient who had previously undergone treatment for penile cancer. The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions has developed a research protocol to perform penile transplantation in patients with genital loss secondary to trauma. The process of selecting the appropriate candidate for genitourinary (GU) vascularized composite allograft surgery is rigorous including extensive physical examination, laboratory testing, imaging and psychological evaluations. After transplantation, limiting the potential complications associated with immunosuppression is critical given that the procedure is intended to improve quality of life and is not life-saving. Ultimately, penile transplant is a surgical intervention which may have numerous applications. Optimization of the pre-operative screening process, surgical technique, and immunosuppressive protocol is required to establish this method as the standard treatment for patients with genital loss and limited reconstructive options.