Since the world’s first successful organ transplant in 1954 — a kidney — the discipline has advanced to the point where a wounded soldier could have his penis and scrotum replaced in a groundbreaking operation last month.
A Frenchman recently became the first person to receive a second face transplant after the first failed, and another made history by regrowing skin lost over 95 percent of his body, thanks to a graft from his twin brother.
Transplants are no longer limited to the vital organs: heart, liver, or lungs. Nowadays, people can get a new hand… or even a uterus.
But some organs remain off-limits. For now.
Topping the list, brain transplants are a long way off, for both technical and ethical reasons, experts say.
“The most challenging organ to transplant is anything related to the nervous system, as we do not have effective techniques for nerve growth/regeneration,” explained transplant surgeon David Nasralla, of the University of Oxford.
“For this reason, eye and brain transplants are currently beyond the scope of modern medicine,” he told AFP.