China conducted the world's first head transplant

Henrietta Brewer
November 18, 2017

An Italian surgeon said he would be scheduling the first transplant of a healthy human head onto another body "within days".

A head transplant has been successfully performed on a corpse and scientists are ready to do it on a living person, a controversial Italian surgeon said Friday.

'The first human head transplant, in the human mode, has been realised, ' Professor Canavero announced at a press conference in Vienna, Austria, this morning.

According to the researchers, there was no damage to the brain tissue of the donor and after surgery the transplanted head felt pain and could open his eyes.


The surgery is expected to take 24 hours, with both subjects placed in an upright sitting position. Canavero says a transplant on a live subject is now imminent. That will be followed by a "formal head transplant" operation in China in December, according to Newsweek.

He is also said to have signed up his first patient, a Russian man called Valery Spiridinov, who will have his head frozen and then grafted onto a new donor body, according to his doctor.

Though he made all the claims without any proof, but the promise that proof for the same will be uploaded in public domain soon.

The researchers had begun testing last May by transplanting mouse heads. "But the surgery was successful", The Telegraph quoted him as saying.


Canavero claims to be the first to work on such surgeries, stressing that this success will encourage his team to proceed with this kind of transplants in the near future.

"Everyone thought this was impossible, but the operation has worked", he said, adding that the operation could take place this year, possibly in Britain, so that everyone can make sure that the patient remained alive.

Dr. Canavero's team in China did in fact do a head swap procedure, but it was done on a corpse. The surgery was performed by a team headed by Dr. Xiaoping Ren, who past year was experimenting with head transplantation in the body of a monkey. The animal, too, was kept alive for nearly 20 hours for ethical reasons.


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