Controversial surgeon says human head transplant 'imminent'

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The first human head transplant could be a step closer after surgeons "successfully" performed the operation on two corpses. He told about it at the conference in Vienna.

He accomplished his arguably gruesome operation by fusing the spine, nerves and blood vessels of the first subject with those of the second.

The operation was carried out by a team led by Dr Xiaoping Ren of Harbin Medical University, China.

The first human head transplant, in the human mode, has been realised.

Professor Canavero claimed that the procedure took place in China because "the Americans did not understand" and wouldn't fund the experiments, according to USA Today. "A full head swap between brain-dead organ donors is the next stage", Canavero said at a press conference in Vienna, the Telegraph of the United Kingdom reported. Spiridinov's head will be frozen and a donor identified who will then have the Russian's man head transplanted onto his body.

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Canavero said the operation lasted for 18 hours and a paper on the head transplant procedure will be released within the next few days. Several doctors and scientists have pointed out that even though Dr Canavero claimed to have performed a head transplant on a monkey, the primate never regained consciousness even through it seemed to have survived the surgery.

Many in the medical community said that not only is it doubtful the procedure will be successful, there also are ethical questions, saying that whoever undergoes the procedure will be in incredible pain, and not able to breathe or control their own heart rate, Newsweek reported.

But not everyone is convinced Professor Canavero could actually ever achieve a successful head transplant.

The body rejected the new head and the monkey was left unable to breathe or move because the spinal cord of the head and body weren't properly connected. The animal, too, was kept alive for nearly 20 hours for ethical reasons.

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