Doctor plans first human head transplant

World's first human head transplant successfully carried out

Surgeon carries out first head transplant on dead bodies

An Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero announced on Friday that the procedure to reattach the human head of a corpse to another dead body has been achieved as planned.

He accomplished his arguably gruesome operation by fusing the spine, nerves and blood vessels of the first subject with those of the second.

"The chances that a person who has their head transplanted onto another body will be able to gain any control over, or benefit from, that grafted body are completely negligible", he added.

In 2015 Professor Canavero, former director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, announced that he meant to transplant the head of a paralysed man onto the body of a dead donor. "But the surgery was successful", The Telegraph quoted him as saying.

Canavero said the operation lasted for 18 hours and a paper on the head transplant procedure will be released within the next few days.

"Canavero cites studies on animals to support his plan, but other doctors say that, 'You're not going to jump from rodent to human" and that Canavero's plan is "criminal", Newsweek reported.

Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero announced the first successful head transplant. Source AAP
Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero announced the first successful head transplant. Source AAP

Prof Canavero's next goal is to try it on two brain-dead, but living, donors, followed by a conscious head donor paralysed from the neck down.

Canavero has been known for his repeated claims regarding human head transplantations.

Several dozen surgeons will work with Canavero as he will simultaneously sever the spinal chords of the donor (body) and recipient (head) with a diamond blade, in what is expected to be a 24-hour procedure. "Everyone said it was impossible, but the operation worked", he said.

Over the years, Canavero has perpetuated the idea of the human head transplant - and the medical breakthroughs it implies - by keeping himself in the news.

"The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done", he said. He has said that it could happen this year, for instance, and that the surgery could even take place in the UK.

The medical community thinks the surgery is both "unethical" and "dangerous".

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