David Wood, 22 March 2012, Huffington Post
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We hear about soldiers be hurt and wounded but we don't necessarily think about it beyond that.
This article mede me think about all the various, difficult and heart wrenching ways in which these amazing individuals lives have changed.
Here are some of the paragraphs that got my attention....
Since 2005, more than 1,500 soldiers and Marines have been carried off the battlefield with genital wounds. But since late 2009, when President Barack Obama ordered a "surge'' of 30,000 combat troops into Afghanistan and approved a new tactic of increased foot patrols, the pace of genital injuries has accelerated.
In the year before the surge, 170 combat troops suffered genital wounds, mostly from IED blasts. In 2010, according to Pentagon data, that number leapt to 259
But there is hope that doctors may soon be able to regrow a penis from the smooth muscle and endothelial cells of patients like Silva. Advances in regenerative medicine have surged during the past decade. At the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a team led by Anthony Atala reported last year that they had regenerated the penises of 12 New Zealand white rabbits. Once they healed, the rabbits were placed in cages with female rabbits. All attempted copulation within one minute and four females became impregnated.
Still, even if surgeons can physically rebuild genitals, making them work effectively and pleasurably is vastly more challenging. Achieving erection, orgasm and ejaculation involves a complex interplay of sensory nerves, muscles and blood-vessel functions, any or all of which may have been damaged by an IED blast.
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