World's first human head transplant has been 'successfully carried out'

Rob Waugh
Contributor
Professor Sergio Canavero

A controversial surgeon who aims to carry out the world’s human head transplant claims to have successfully carried out the operation on a corpse.

The 18-hour operation showed that it is possible to reconnect the spine, nerves and blood vessels, according to controversial surgeon Professor Sergio Canavero.

At a press conference in Vienna, Professor Canavero announced that a team at Harbin Medical University had ‘realised the first human head transplant.’

Canavero said that the first operation on a living patient will take place ‘imminently’.

Canavero said, ‘The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done. A full head swap between brain dead organ donors is the next stage.

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‘And that is the final step for the formal head transplant for a medical condition which is imminent.’

Professor Sergio Canavero said earlier this year that his team had successfully repaired severed spinal cords in rats – a key step towards a successful transplant.

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The team severed the spinal cords of rats, then treated them with polyethylene glycol to seal and repair damaged spinal cord nerve cells.

Within a month, the rats had recovered some movement – and two returned to a state that was ‘basically normal’.

Canavero has previously admitted, ‘The final goal is immortality.’

He says that there has aready been interest from ultra-rich patients seeking to extend their lives by grafting ageing heads onto fresh, young bodies.

Dr Canavero said last year, ‘You bet – there are a few funds working on prolonging life expectancy, and they are well-funded.’