Russian donor Valery Spiridonov offered his head for the process. image credit theguardian.com
Dr. Sergio Canavero, an Italian neurosurgeon is confident enough with his new project, the first ever head transplant to be performed in Human. Canavero told fellow doctors at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons, at the Westin Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland, that his project will have a 90 percent success rate.
Valery Spiridonov, the man who has volunteered to donate his head, spoke little at the gathering, but he was figure of great interest. Spiridonov has Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, or spinal muscular atrophy. It’s a debilitating, eventually fatal condition that had taken a visible toll on the 30-year-old Russian’s body. Spiridonov emailed Canavero out of the blue when the doctor’s project began to receive press attention.
Head transplants have been performed before in animals with different levels of success.
Canavero asked fellow surgeons to assist and help him into what he considered the greatest medical breakthrough if become successful. The Russian donor has already signed the contract offering his head for the procedure.
For two and a half hours (the presentation was scheduled for 90 minutes) in front of an audience of mostly blue- and gray-suited middle-aged surgeons, Canavero paced the width of the long room in cream slacks and a reddish-brown tunic, bespectacled, his head shaved, looking like an especially hip monk.
A lot of questions from public remains with gloomy answers
With the operation create a new person? Who will donate the body? How about the nervous system?
The Russian donor said he is expecting to have a brand new body, but will it happen? How about the body donor? Can a body of dead person be used?
Canavero said he wish to perform the surgery either in US or China once the needed advanced technology will be ready, possibly on the last quarter next year or early 2017.
/The Guardian/ Carla Gamboa/