Doing the Impossible

As many of us know, technology has been one of the most progress-showing invention of the humankind. As technology develops, so does everything else. With new technologies, doctors have more perspective, more success rates, and many more possibilities. Things that seemed impossible are now becoming a reality.

In the December of 2017, the world’s first ever human head transplant will take place. Sounds crazy, right? But the procedure will be performed by Italian neurosurgeon, Sergio Canavero. He has been researching and planning for this operation for 30 years. While many people think that Canavero’s procedure is very dangerous, he is surprisingly calm. Many scientists do not think that this operation will be successful, but if it is they think it will be “worse than death.”

The procedure will be performed on a terminally ill Russian patient, Valery Spiridonov, who has a disease called Werdnig-Hoffmann, in which his muscles shrink causing paralysis. Canavero describes how he will continue with the procedure:

“It involves cooling the recipient’s head and the donor body to extend the time their cells can survive without oxygen. The tissue around the neck is dissected and the major blood vessels are linked using tiny tubes, before the spinal cords of each person are cut… The recipient’s head is then moved onto the donor body and the two ends of the spinal cord – which resemble two densely packed bundles of spaghetti – are fused together… Next, the muscles and blood supply would be sutured and the recipient kept in a coma for three or four weeks to prevent movement…”

The doctors hope that Spiridonov will wake up with the ability to move and feel his face, while also being able to talk with his same voice.

The surgery will include over 150 doctors and nurses, and will last about 36 hours.


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