Human Head Transplant Surgery Could Be Possible In The Near Future

Human Head Transplant Surgery Could Be Possible In The Near Future

Neuroscientist Dr. Sergio Canavero describes the surgical procedure required in a recent paper.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 3 july 2013

As bizarre as it may seem, it looks like the technology for full human head transplants is already available. In a recent paper published on Surgical Neurology International (SNI), Dr. Sergio Canavero, an Italian neuroscientist of the University of Turin, outlined the procedure that would make such a surgery possible.

Dr. Canavero used the research of Dr. Robert White as basis for the procedure. In 1970 Dr. White transplanted the head of a rhesus monkey onto the body of another monkey. The monkey survived for 8 days and suffered no complications.

In his paper, Dr Canavero describes the procedure of cooling the head of the ‘body-recipient’ to allow a surgical team to disconnect and reconnect it to the ‘donor-body.’ The re-connection must be performed within an hour after the head has been detached.

Dr. Canavero also writes that the ‘greatest technical hurdle’ in a head transplant surgery is the reconnection of the spinal cord, but he believes that the technology to address this already exists, which would make the radical surgery possible.

The idea of full head transplants is certainly a strange and controversial one, but Dr. Canavero states that it is something worth researching further.


Surgical Neurology International

Images via SNI


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