Italian Surgeon Confident About Human Head Transplants in the Near Future

By: | March 9th, 2015

Although it sounds unbelievable or like the plot of a bad horror film, it is true that human head transplants could become a reality by 2017.

Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero believes head transplants are possible. Canavero foresees that this technique could benefit paralyzed patients, those suffering from cancer, or whose nerves and muscles have wasted away. Many others suffering from incurable diseases could benefit as well. However, each operation will cost about £7.5million or nearly $26.4 million.

How is this Possible?

Firstly, doctors would cool the patient’s head and the donor’s body so that their cells do not die during the operation. Then, both the donor and the patient would have their head detached from their spinal cord simultaneously by using an ultra-sharp blade to minimize nerve damage. The recipient’s head would then be moved on to the donor’s body. A special ‘glue’ called polyethylene glycol would be used to fuse the two ends of the spinal cord together. This would allow the patient’s brain to talk to the donor‘s body.

To stop the patient from moving and giving them time to heal, the recipient would be kept in a coma for three or four weeks. As per Canavero, when the patient is out of this medically-induced coma, they would be able to speak and feel their face.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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