American doctors have completed the world's first successful male genital transplant.
A team of surgeons from Johns Hopkins University in the north-eastern city of Baltimore, Maryland, successfully carried out a penis, scrotum and abdominal wall transplant on a US soldier who had been injured in combat in Afghanistan.
Crucially, the doctors claim that the man will be able to resume sexual functions, which have never been possible with previous penis transplants.
The surgery was the first to transplant a whole genital region, including the scrotum and abdominal region. The testicles from the deceased donor were not transplanted for ethical reasons, according to doctors from Johns Hopkins University.
It took the team of 11 surgeons a total of 14 hours to complete the pioneering surgery, which was carried out on 26 March.
Dr WP Andrew Lee, head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins University, called the man's genitalia injuries an 'unspoken injury of war'.
Dr Lee told media: "While extremity amputations are visible and resultant disability obvious, some war injuries are hidden and their impact not widely appreciated by others.
"In a 2014 symposium co-sponsored by Johns Hopkins titled 'Intimacy After Injury', we heard from the spouses, families, and caregivers of these wounded warriors about the devastating impact of genitourinary injuries on their identity, self-esteem and intimate relationships."
The injured soldier, who has asked not to be named, said: "When I first woke up, I felt finally more normal like finally I'm okay now." He sustained the injury after stepping on an improvised explosive device while on active duty in Afghanistan.
"It is our hope that such a life-enhancing transplant will allow him to regain urinary and sexual function and lead a more normal life," said Dr Rick Redett, clinical director of the genitourinary transplant programme at Johns Hopkins.
"It is also our goal to offer the procedure in the future to other suitable patients."
The University expects that the solider will be given the all clear within six months to a year. He should be discharged from hospital this week. Should his surgery prove to be a complete success, a further 60 people are in line to undergo the same procedure.
Penis transplants are a relatively recent medical breakthrough, with the first ever being carried out in South Africa in 2014.