If I had half a brain I'd leave it home
Are you familiar with the phrase, "Don't lose your head"? Okay, but what if you volunteered to have your head transplanted? Dr. Sergio Canavero an Italian neurosurgeon announCed that at the end of 2017, he will perform the first human head transplant. Dr. Canavero will perform the surgery with the help of Chinese neurosurgeon Dr. Xioping Ren. 1
In Russia, Dr. Vladimir Demokhov experimented with a dog head transplant. In 1950, Dr. Demokhov began experimenting with monkey and dogs, but with no success. Now, please don't rush to volunteer for this ghoulish, yet intriguing surgery. A Russian man named Valery Spiridonov has volunteered for this procedure.
Who would volunteer for a head transplant? Mr. Valery Spiridonov is 30 years of age and he is a computer programmer. He volunteered because he has been diagnosed with a rare, fatal spinal atrophy disease. His days are spent in a wheelchair with people having to do everything for him.
Mr. Spiridonov stated that he is looking forward to having his head transplanted because he will no longer have a diseased body in constant pain. This surgery comes with a mix of approval and opposition within the science community .
Head transplant procedure
What is a head transplant surgery procedure? If you feel a little squeamish, proceed with caution. According to Dr. Canavero's case study report, he will begin with a head from a donor who died within three or four hours.
The next step is to rapidly cool down the body of Valery Spiridonov to prevent brain tissue deterioration. According to Dr. Canavero, both the donated cadaver and Mr. Spiridonov will have their spinal cords cut. The brain and the spinal cord are a part of the central nervous system which provide instructions to the body.
Following this amazing first step, both of their heads will be removed. Mr. Spiridonov will have the donated cadaver's head immediately attached to his body. At the same time the spinal cord, the esophagus and blood vessels of Valery Spiridonov will be repaired by another team of specialized surgeons.
The spinal cord reparation involves using a chemical that produces spinal cord cell growth. Further surgical procedures will be performed on Mr. Spiridonov's organs, which require matching muscles and nerves.
Spiridonov will then be placed in a coma-state for up to a month. Now, it is a wait and see. Of course, this surgery is still a theoretical procedure which will cost millions of dollars and a large surgical staff. Dr. Canavero believes that the procedure can be performed with a 90 percent success rate.
According to Dr. Canavero, this head transplant procedure could extend a person's life. The medical community can benefit from the procedure's success in many organ transplants and that clones can be used when the technology is improved and perfected.
If all of this sounds like an old horror movie starring Boris Korloff, then you would be in good company. The scientific community as a whole, refers to this experiment as the new Frankenstein theory.