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“We’re cautiously optimistic.”

In a feat of medical science, 64 year-old bank courier, Thomas Manning, has received the first penis transplant in the United States.

Performed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the transplant was the result of a painstaking 15-hour operation, in which the penis from a deceased donor was transplanted onto Manning, whose penis had been removed due to cancer.

Leading surgeon from the plastic and reconstructive team that performed Manning’s ground-breaking operation, Dr Curtis L. Cetrulo, says the results so far have been promising.

“We’re cautiously optimistic. It’s uncharted waters for us.”

If all goes as planned, Manning can expect to return to normal urination and sexual function in just a few months.

This is only the third attempt in the world at successfully transplanting a donor penis. The first attempt was in China in 2006 and later failed and had to be removed, and the second was performed in South Africa in 2014, proving successful and allowing the patient to later father a child.

But the procedure doesn’t come cheap. Though Manning’s surgical team and hospital donated their time and resources to participate in the landmark medical case, Cetrulo estimates the cost at $50,000 to $75,000.

And though the recovery period will be intensive, requiring lifelong anti-rejection drugs, and Manning is unlikely to return to 100 per cent function, he’s grateful for the chance at a new life.

“I couldn’t have a relationship with anybody. You can’t tell a woman, ‘I had a penis amputation’…If I’m lucky, I get 75 per cent of what I used to be. Before the surgery I was 10 per cent,” Manning told The New York Times.

The patient says he’s keen to break down the stigma associated with sexual function disorders.

“I didn’t advertise, but if people asked, I told them the truth…Don’t hide behind a rock.”

Video via thenewyorktimes.com, image via AP.