Prof. Sergio Canavero, renowned neurosurgeon from Turin is setting his foot in a dangerous never done before human head transplant surgery changing the medicine history forever.
Prof. Sergio’s plan desire to perform the first human head transplant has generated a huge debate in the medical community as many experts are claiming that such complicated surgery involving complex technology will never succeed.
Bioethicists Arthur Caplan has contradicted this idea in an interview with love science where Arthur said “I think it’s ludicrously stupid. You’d probably be charged with homicide if you chop somebody’s head off before they’re dead”
All kinds of surgery, in general, involve risk and problems like anesthesia complications, excessive bleeding, blood clots, delayed healing, difficulty breathing, and infections after surgery and often leading to death. Now head transplantation being attempted for the first time in the world will include higher risk complications and uncertainties compared to general surgeries.
For instance, the head may reject the new body. The doctor may fail to reconnect the spinal cord. Even if advances in the medicines reduce the risk of rejection there is no assurance that transplantation will be a success because no doctor has ever reconnected a spinal cord till now.
According to the latest updates of this news, the surgery will be performed in China and the first head transplant patient will be a Chinese.
Reportedly, experienced, Neurosurgeon Xiaoping Ren from Harbin University which will require 80 surgeons 36hours and $10million to accomplish.
Ren is accustomed to head transplants as he has performed the procedure on 1000 different mice. Though after 10 hours of procedure the mice could breathe, drink, see unfortunately they didn’t survive.
However, the history of head transplant surgery is much older than we think.
In 1970 Surgeon Robert White at Case Western Reserve’s school of medicine. Successfully transplanted a monkey head to a new body. Initially, the monkey survived the procedure for nine days with the help of life support but the head rejected the new body as the spinal cord couldn’t be reconnected so its body was paralyzed below the head.
Let’s talk about the surgical procedures of the head transplant. First, the recipients head would be cooled down to -15 degree Celsius to keep the cells alive. Next, the neck is cut into and the blood vessels are hooked up by a series of small tubes. After intensely cleaning the spinal cord the head will be transferred to the donor body and here the most tricky and toughest job comes into play that is reconnecting the spinal cord.
Prof. Sergio suggested the usage if a substance called polyethylene glycol to help cell membranes fully meld together. The final step to this procedure will be stitching up the blood vessels and muscles, putting the patient will undergo intense physiotherapy.
If the patient survives after reviving from the one-month coma he will be able to walk and use all his body parts. Prof. Sergio also confirmed that he will use the immunosuppressive drug to prevent the risk of rejection in this transplantation.
As we have seen prior head transplantation experiments have failed on rats and monkey’s majority of surgeons and scientist are strictly opposing this attempt. Harry Goldsmith Clinical Professor of neurological surgery at the University of California said “This is such an overwhelming project; the possibility of it happening is very unlikely. I don’t believe it will ever work.
However, Prof. Sergio has responded to such criticism and concerns saying “There are so-called experts who have no experience because they have never done this before. They say ‘no this will never happen.’ I work on it. We have the scientists, the experts, the teams in the US, South Korea, and China working it and when we are ready to inform the public, we will do it”
The World’s first head transplant surgery is scheduled for December 2017 suggested by latest updates.
If Prof. Sergio, Neurosurgeon Xiaoping Ren, and his team successfully accomplish this dramatic transplantation it could offer a ray of hope for those in the future who are suffering from Cancer or major accident.
So guys, what do you think will Sergio’s team succeed in the first head transplant surgery?