From a surgery point of view, which option is easier, requiring less skills thus having minor chances of failure in the hand of skilled surgeons?

-Transplanting a new brain in another body

-Replacing pieces of the old body around the brain over the course of years

My intuition tells me that the first method has high chances of critical failure for the brain to die of asphyxiation, the second option might seem more reasonable, but now the chance of critical failure is small but repeats itself every day over a few years. So it's kind of like 80% chance to die now versus 0.8% chances to die every day for the next 5 years....just throwing completely random numbers around to show what my intuition suggests.

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    $\begingroup$ If it can be done, then replacing the whole body at once would be ideal. Unfortunately, with our current level of medical and bio knowledge, we can do neither. We simply do not have a means of connecting the nervous system of the recipient body to the brain. $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    Jun 6, 2021 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ @PcMan assuming we have the skills to connect nerves, which ones is actually safest for the brain? which one has lesser chances of dying? $\endgroup$
    – user86106
    Jun 6, 2021 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ Head transplant, was in the news someyears ago, how did it ended? $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Jun 6, 2021 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg with a living head, on a quadruplegic body on life support, and being fed continuous anti0rejection drugs. Just use a clone for the body, it solves the rejection issues. but... we have very limited success even reconnecting single nerves in the extremities. something on the magnitude of connecting a brain to a spinal cord, or connecting a spinal cord to the multitude of nerves in the body? We are very far from that. It's not impossible, just well outside current medical ability $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    Jun 6, 2021 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ The second method is widespread nowadays. My father got a transplant kidney and a stent in the aorta, he is fine. Brain transplants OTOH are the stuff of science fiction. $\endgroup$ Jun 6, 2021 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


First method is order of magnitude more complex, but it is better

Until nanomachines, which maybe an order of magnitude harder than even first method, u can't avoid scar tissues, and it won't be good especially when it all over the body parts.

So considering the amount of work and internal connections required, of allsorts of tissues and vessels, second method may be on pair with complexity of a first one (if by brain transplant we loosley mean head transplant as well)

Difficulties of second method are in finding apropriate parts, which won't be easy, they do have to not reject themselfs. But as a solution is potencial stemcells 3d printing of new organs, or other ways artificially to grow them. I seems have seen some results on both of those(3d printing, and growing - small pieces very limited) but if we talk about random parts and organs, all of them, it seems to be even harder than head transplant.

So on a scale which you would like it to see, replacing all, I would say that head transplant is closer to reality as for today.



Topic is quite old, even its recent development, some sucesses are reported(on animals), but not sure about results with this guy https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergio_Canavero he prepares for that for a decade already

So if your villan needs a transplant near 2023 go with a head one.

If it is nanomachines son time, then go with brain transplant and freshly cloned/printed body as one of the options, never trust those digital uploaders, go with good old stuff.

  • $\begingroup$ I would argue that if scarring is the issue, the consequences of inevitable scar points in a brain transplant are far worse, even if they are physically more diminuitive than overall body scarring from progressive replacement of body parts. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 6, 2021 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ @DKNguyen do not cut brain pieces obiviously, it should be one piece transplant, and then why so? I mean u may not argue, but at least some hints of why $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Jul 7, 2021 at 4:22
  • $\begingroup$ You don't cut up the brain into pieces in a brain transplant anymore than you cut the heart up into pieces in a heart transplant. Have you ever had a nerve cut or even a bruised nerve? I have. Twice. They actually try to go around it during jaw surgery. It basically never heals. It sucks. It's like trying to use your foot when it falls asleep for a long time. And in a brain transplant you will purposefully be cutting nerves, all the nerves, to remove the brain. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 7, 2021 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ @DKNguyen as I mention by brain transplant, if nothing better, I mean head transplant. Also I mention 2 situations are complex enough. While googling I have seen some works on grow of connections of nerve tissues, there is some progress, compared to 10-20 years ago. My main point rather was - organ transplantation on scale of piecewise rebuild a body isn't easier. The problem mentiont by u exists for all parts and organs of the human body(more or less). Yes restoring spinal cord connectivity is a big obstacle, everyone sees that, ignoring less obivious problems. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Jul 7, 2021 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ @DKNguyen "It basically never heals" not always 100% true, I had that with my left big toe, fell asleep in a trench on exercise with my foot wedged hard against its wall & that toe pressed up hard against the inside of my boot, that toe was permanently numb after that, I thought the nerve would never recover but it did, it probably took ten years for full recovery of sensation in that toe mind. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Nov 3, 2021 at 21:15

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