Vienna, Nov 17: In what could be termed as a medical miracle, controversial Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero claims to have successfully carried out world’s first head transplant on a human corpse. Dr Sergio Canavero on Friday said that he used his own techniques to reconnect the spine, nerves and blood vessels on a corpse to demonstrate that such a procedure will in the near future allow two bodies to live together.
He also pointed out that a human head transplant surgery can be carried out in 18 hours, the timeframe his team has set for itself.
According to The Telegraph, which broke the news, Dr Canavero said, “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.”
He made the claims at a conference in Vienna but did not give any proof of having carried out the path-breaking surgery. He, however, added that the proof of the procedure will be put in public domain soon.
“The first human head transplant, in the human mode, has been realised. The paper will be released in a few days. Everyone said it was impossible. But the surgery was successful,” The Telegraph quoted him as saying.
After announcing the feat, which theoretically has the potential to literally change the face of the world, Dr Canavero said his team will now get ready to carry out a head transplant on living person.
A Russian man identified as Valery Spiridinov has reportedly registered with him for a head transplant. Spiridinov’s head will be frozen and a donor identified who will then have the Russian’s man head transplanted onto his body.
However, a majority of the medical fraternity has raised doubts about Dr Canavero’s sensational claim. Several doctors and scientists have pointed out that even though Dr Canavero claimed to have performed a head transplant on a monkey, the primate never regained consciousness even through it seemed to have survived the surgery.
They say Dr Canavero did not connect the monkey’s spine to it new head which meant that even if it had regained consciousness, it would have been paralysed. The animal, too, was kept alive for almost 20 hours for ethical reasons. Dr Canavero also claimed to have carried out a “successful” rat head transplant.