Announced Monday [May 16, 2015], a cancer patient who had his penis partially amputated has received the breakthrough of a lifetime after undergoing the United States’ first successful penis transplant in Boston, MA.

It was four years ago that the patient, a now 64-year-old Thomas Manning, had part of his manhood surgically removed during a bout with a rare case of penile cancer.

He received the transplant from a deceased donor in a 15 hour surgery that lasted from May 8 to May 9 of this year, under they eye of a team that consisted of seven surgeons, six medical residents, and over 30 other caregivers.

According to the Massachusetts General hospital, the procedure is referred to as genitourinary reconstructive transplant that involves “grafting the complex microscopic vascular and neural structures of a donor organ onto the comparable structures of the recipient.”

The goals of this operation included reconstructing natural-looking genitalia, regaining the patient’s ability to urinate, and regaining the patient’s ability to function sexually. With the first of the three checked off, doctors are hopeful that Manning will be able to urinate normally in a few weeks, and are “cautiously optimistic” that he will also regain his sexual functioning.

“Today I begin a new chapter filled with personal hope and hope for others who have suffered genital injuries, particularly for our service members who put their lives on the line and suffer serious damage as a result,” Manning wrote in a statement released at a new conference at Massachusetts General on Monday. “In sharing this success with all of you, it’s my hope we can usher in a bright future for this type of transplantation.