It’s now official! For the first time in history, a human head transplant on a corpse has been successfully carried out in an operating theater in China! The medical engineering took 18 hours to carry out and was carried out on a corpse. However, this proved that it’s possible to successfully reconnect the spine, nerves and blood vessels.
The operation was carried out by a team at Harbin Medical University led by Dr Xiaoping Ren, the Telegraph reports. The Italian Professor Sergio Canavero, director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, announced the success of the team. He said the team “realised the first human head transplant”.
He added an operation on a live human will take place “imminently”.
At a press conference in Vienna, Prof Canavero added:
“The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done. A full head swap between brain dead organ donors is the next stage and that is the final step for the formal head transplant for a medical condition which is imminent.”
Dr Sergio Canavero was really hopeful to perform the world’s first head transplant on Russian Valery Spiridonov. The doctor previously announced his plans in a presentation at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons in Annapolis in 2015.
However, earlier this year, 31-year-old Spiridonov, who suffers from a muscle-wasting disease, denied the idea. He said he would no longer be volunteering for the ground-breaking operation, adding “a weight lifted off my chest”.
Dr Canavero caused even more shock this year by saying he intends to attach previously frozen brains of the dead into donor bodies. This made experts quite skeptical but the doctor claims that such brains can be awoken and give life to the deceased.
Last year, Dr Xiaoping Ren successfully grafted a head onto the body of a monkey. He has also performed 1,000 head transplants on mice, in yet more head-turning news.
The Wall Street Journal was present at one of his 10-hour operations, and witnessed a mouse with a new head move and breathe on its own following the procedure. The mouse even opened its eyes and started drinking liquids.
Is this a new scientific breakthrough? We can’t wait to see what’s next!