Milestones in human transplantation surgery

Following the first successful penis transplant in the U.S., here is a look at some other milestones in human transplantation surgery:

Transplant surgery has included the heart, lungs, kidneys, uterus, penis, hands and face

Dr. Joel Cooper reflects on performing 1st successful lung transplant 2:51

The first penis transplant in the U.S. — and just the second successful penis transplant ever — was performed last week in Boston.

Thomas Manning, 64, of Halifax, Mass., lost most of his penis to cancer before undergoing the transplant surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is said to be recovering well.

Breakthroughs in human transplantation surgery have been made all over the world, including here in Canada. Here's a look at some other transplant milestones.


2014: The first known successful penis transplant was performed at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, which announced three months later that the 21-year-old patient had made a full recovery and regained all function in the transplanted organ.

A man in China received a penis transplant in 2005 but doctors said the man asked them to remove his new penis two weeks later because of psychological problems experienced by him and his wife.


1954: Dr. Joseph E. Murray and Dr. David Hume at Brigham Hospital in Boston performed the first successful living-related kidney transplant, taking a kidney from Ronald Herrick and transplanting it into his identical twin, Richard. They also performed the first successful kidney transplant from a deceased donor, in 1962.

Kidney transplants had been attempted since 1906, using organs from sheep, pigs, goats and primates.


1983: Dr. Joel Cooper led the team that performed the first successful single lung transplant at Toronto General Hospital. Patient Tom Hall, who lived for more than six years following his transplant, earned the nickname Patient 45, because 44 previous attempts at lung transplantation around the world had been unsuccessful. Cooper also performed the first successful double-lung transplant in 1986.

Tom Hall received the world's first successful lung transplant, which was pioneered by Dr. Joel Cooper at Toronto General Hospital. Hall, seen here in Paris, lived for six years following his 1983 transplant. (University Health Network)


1967: The first successful heart transplant was performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. Recipient Louis Washkansky, a 53-year-old grocer, died of pneumonia 18 days after the transplant. Barnard's second heart-transplant patient, Dr. Philip Blaiberg, lived more than 19 months.


1998: New Zealander Clint Hallam underwent 13 hours of surgery to receive the first successful hand transplant in Lyon, France, by a team led by Dr. Jean-Michel Dubernard.

2000: Dubernard also performed the world's first double hand transplant, with the help of a 50-member surgical team, at Edouard Herriot Hospital in Lyon. The patient, Denis Chatelier, was a 33-year-old house painter and father of two whose hands were blown off when a home-made model rocket exploded prematurely.


2005: Dubernard and Dr. Bernard Devauchelle performed the first successful partial face transplant in Amiens, France, on Frenchwoman Isabelle Dinoire, 38, who was severely disfigured after her pet dog gnawed at her face in an attempt to rouse her from a medication overdose. She had a nose, lips and chin grafted onto her face.

Isabelle Dinoire is seen in February 2006, nine months after she received the world's first partial facial transplant in Amiens, France. (Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty)

2010: The world's first full face transplant took place at Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, by Dr. Juan Pedro Barret and team. The recipient was an unidentified man in his 30s who'd been accidentally shot in the face. He received a new nose, lips, tear ducts, cheekbones and jaw.

Uterus resulting in birth

2014: A 36-year-old woman in Sweden became the first woman to give birth by way of a transplanted womb. Dr. Mats Brannstrom, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Gothenburg and Stockholm IVF, led the research and delivered the baby with the help of his wife, who is a midwife. The unidentified woman's baby boy was born prematurely but healthy.

Gender reassignment

Male to female: German Dora Richter, born Rudolph Richter, asked to be medically castrated in 1922 and lived and dressed as a woman. In 1931, around the age of 40, she had her penis amputated and received a vaginoplasty by Dr. Ludwig Levy-Lenz at Berlin's Institute for Sexual Science.

Female to male: Dr. Laurence Michael Dillon, born Laura Maud Dillon in London on May 1, 1915, received a double mastectomy in 1942, and then between 1946 and 1949 underwent at least 13 operations to modify his vagina into a penis (phalloplasty). Though a medical school graduate from Trinity College in Dublin and entitled to inherit his brother's baronetcy, he chose to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk in India, where he died May 15, 1962, at age 47.