First U.S. penis transplants could help wounded troops

Modern warfare has changed troop injuries -- and the treatments they need.

Story highlights

  • Doctors at Johns Hopkins plan to perform first U.S. penile transplant
  • Rise in genital injuries due to new kinds of warfare

(CNN)The Johns Hopkins University medical team that performed arm and hand transplants hopes to perform the first penile transplant in the United States in the coming months.

The team led by Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee hopes to help returning servicemen with an often-hidden wound of war. Modern warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq has put more troops on the streets with dismounted patrols and increased exposure to improvised explosive devices. That has led to a new kind of trauma: genitourinary, known as GU trauma, which includes the genitals, bladder, urinary tract and kidney systems.