Italian surgeon to conduct first human head transplant

An Italian neurosurgeon named Dr. Sergio Canavero has found a patient that he plans to conduct the world's first human head transplant on. The patient is a Russian man named Valery Spiridonov who is terminally ill and has a rare medical condition called Werdnig-Hoffman disease. The procedure is being called HEAVEN.

HEAVEN stands for "head anastomosis venture" and the goal is to sever the head from a human who is brain dead but otherwise healthy and severe the head from the terminally ill Spiridonov and attach it to the other body. The two patients will have their heads severed at the same time, Spiridonov's head will be attached to the other body, and the doctor will reconnect the muscles and spinal cord.

Due to the bizarre and radical nature of the procedure, Dr. Canavero is being called a real-life Dr. Frankenstein. While Spiridonov is said to be eager to try the procedure, but he and Dr. Canavero have yet to meet and the doctor hasn't reviewed the patient's medical chart. The pair have only met via Skype so far. The HEAVEN procedure is said to take 36 hours and require a team of 150 doctors and nurses.

The cost of the procedure is estimated to be $11 million. In the 70s, a similar procedure was tried by attaching a monkey's head to a different monkey body, in all cases the monkey died within 24 hours. Canavero believes that medical technology has come far enough for the procedure to work.

SOURCE: Techtimes