Dutch breakthrough helps men get sensation back

31st August 2006, Comments 0 comments

31 August 2006, AMSTERDAM — Dutch doctors have managed to restore penile sensation for several men with spinal cord lesions or Spina Bifida.

31 August 2006

AMSTERDAM — Dutch doctors have managed to restore penile sensation for several men with spinal cord lesions or Spina Bifida.

They did this by connecting a nerve in the groin to a nerve ending at the tip of the penis.

The procedure was developed by doctors at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht and the Isala clinics in Zwolle. The operation is only possible at the moment for young men with a spinal cord lesion or Spina Bifida, Tom de Jong of the UMCU said on Thursday.

He said the Dutch procedure was a first and a specialist in Rome has already expressed interest in it.

Men with either of the conditions can experience a loss of sensation in the penis or it can be absent all together. "These men can actually have erections and reach orgasm but it is frustrating for that they usually can't feel anything," De Jong said.

The operation, developed as part of doctoral research by De Jong's former assistant physician Max Overgoor, has been carried out on 15 young men. Twelve of them have experienced a return in sensation. Initially it feels as if their groin is being touched. Over time the brain corrects itself and they get the sensation in their penis.

The first three operations were carried out on young men aged 17, 18 and 21 in the UMCU by De Jong, plastic surgeon Moshe Kon and Overgoor. The other men were treated at the Isala clinics in Zwolle where Overgoor now works and continues his doctoral research.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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