Organ transplants are almost commonplace today, but one Italian surgeon is head and shoulders above the rest in his transplant practice—literally. Dr. Sergio Canavero has designed a procedure for complete head transplants which he believes will be viable in two years. Yep, if your body conks out but your head still wants to go on, this surgeon believes that he will soon be able to swap your bad body for a good one and attach your head to it. So how exactly will this work?
Well, first you need a good donor body. I’m not exactly sure what rules exist to selecting a body. The good surgeon didn’t expound upon this. I’m assuming you have to wait for someone to expire, but do you get a choice of the recently expired bodies? Do you put in an order for a specific body type? Will there be an online catalog to process requests? Can you switch genders? Or race? Will they take Paypal?
Let’s assume you have signed up for a transplant and after whatever necessary research is completed, you find your perfect bottom half. How is the transplant accomplished? Well, here’s the procedure…yep, the honest-to-goodness procedure. Don’t try this at home.
Step 1: Place donor body and receiving head into hypothermia state for about 45 minutes to eliminate any damage from a lack of oxygen.
Step 2: Cut the head from the old body with an ultra-sharp knife. (Does this really need to be in the instruction manual? Are there surgeons out there thinking of using a butter knife, paper cutter or maybe a can opener to separate the head from the body?)
Step 3: Fuse the spinal cord of the donor body to the head. Once all attachments are made, the new head/body combo remains in a coma for about a month so that the nerves and muscles have time to fuse together and then Shazam! You have a new head! The miracle of modern medicine.
On another note: Surgeons in South Africa announced they have performed the first successful penis transplant.
Somehow the head transplant doesn’t seem so important anymore.