Head Transplants Might Actually Happen

Hana LaRock
Science and medicine have come a long way with transplants. Let's see if they can push the boundaries even further.

sergio canavero, italy, head transplant, transplant, human head

Within the next two years, the first human head transplant could very well take place.

In order for the breakthrough surgery to occur, the right parties need to work together. Now, a doctor from Italy, Sergio Canavero and a team in the US, will come together at a surgical conference later this year to do the unthinkable.

A head transplant would give life back to people who have lost control and feeling in their muscles and nerves which have degenerated, or for people whose organs that have been greatly affected by cancer.

However, the transplant is no walk in the park. It is imperative that the surgeon can correctly join the spinal cord to the new head, and that the body's immune system will not reject the head later on. Canavero believes he has figured out how to do this.

Although this will be the first human head transplant to take place, it is certainly not the first head transplant in history. The first was done on a dog by a Soviet surgeon in the 1950's, and the second was done in 1970 by Robert White on a monkey. In both cases, the animals only lived a few days afterwards, and in the monkey's case, he wasn't able to move his head, but was able to breath with a machine. With each attempt, there was more success.

There are many obstacles to overcome when it comes to a major surgery such as this, but Canavero has thought of every possible error and every possible solution to each one of those errors. Hopefully, this will ensure that the first human head transplant will go accordingly, and Canavero and his team will be able to take on anything that might prevent the success of this surgery, and ultimately, the life of the brave volunteer. 

If all of this works, a person could still live with an entirely new body that has been transplanted-everything from the head, to the limbs, to the organs, could keep a person's soul alive, but as another physical being.