Short Bytes: Dr. Seergio, who has already done a successful neuro-linkages joint operation, came into controversy when he announced the first human head transplant. He also has a volunteer from Russia who is suffering from the muscle-wasting disorder and is desperate to get his muscles working again. Back in 1970, a monkey head transplant has already been a successful operation.
The idea of first human head transplant came to Canavero’s mind almost three years ago and he announced that he’d be able to do the first human head transplant in a two-part procedure. Two procedures that he would follow are:
- HEAVEN (head anastomosis venture) and
- Gemini (the subsequent spinal cord fusion)
Valery Spiridonov, a 31-year-old Russian program manager, upon the doctor’s announcement, stood up to volunteer for the same. Valery is suffering from Werdnig-Hoffman disease, a muscle-wasting disorder, and is desperate to get his muscles’ life back.
According to the claims made by the Italian surgeon that has have successfully carried out a head transplant on a monkey, Dr. Sergio now wants to attempt a human head transplant. He also claims that this transplant could cure complete paralysis in a matter of years.
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While many call this attempt by Dr. Sergioas as a fantasy, on the other hand, the doctor is optimistic that liver, kidney and lungs can be transplanted then why cannot a head? Back in 1970, American neurosurgeon Dr. Robert White also conducted the first successful transplant of a head to another body when he operated on a rhesus monkey.
From the Chinese head transplant experiment, Dr. Sergio claims that that if the head is cooled to -15°C, a monkey can survive the procedure without suffering brain damage.
Dr. Sergio has already delineated a plan in a June 2013 paper which was presented in 2015 while addressing American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons’s 39th annual conference. This first human head transplant will be a 36-hour, $20 million procedure involving at least 150 people, including doctors, nurses, technicians, psychologists and virtual reality engineers.
The first human head transplant procedure:
- Two surgical teams will work simultaneously—one focused on Spiridonov and the other on the donor’s body.
- The donor’s body is from a brain-dead patient which matches Valery’s height, build, and immunotype.
- Both of the patients will be anesthetized first then will be fitted with the breathing tubes.
- Electrodes will be attached to their bodies to monitor brain and heart activity.
- In the next step, Spiridonov’s head will be frozen to 12 to 15 degrees Celsius making in temporarily brain-dead.
- Once brain dead, Doctors will then drain his brain of blood and flush it with a standard surgery solution.
- Tubes made of Silastic will be tightened around arteries and jugular veins to stop blood flow and later loosened to allow circulation when the head and new body are connected.
- The two teams, will make deep incisions around each patient’s neck and use color-coded markings to note all the muscles in both Spiridonov’s head and that of the donor, to facilitate the reconnection.
- In the final and the most critical step, doctors will cleanly chop through both spinal cords—with a $200,000 diamond nanoblade.
- Once the heads are sliced, Spiridonov’s head will have to be attached to the donor’s body and connected to the blood flow within an hour.
- If everything goes well, Dr. Sergio will join neuro-linkages in the end.
So, let’s hope for the best and let’s pray that Dr. Sergio completes the first human head transplant successfully and the volunteer Spiridonov gets his body life back.
Also read: What Will Humans Look Like in 100,000 Years?