Controversial surgeon Sergio Canavero claims to have carried out first head transplant on a corpse

A controversial surgeon has claimed that he has successfully carried out a head transplant on a corpse, heralding the imminent chance of a live transplant.

Sergio Canavero reportedly told a conference in Vienna that he has “realised the first human head transplant”.

According to The Telegraph, he said the transplant on a corpse showed his techniques for re-connecting a spine, nerves and blood vessels to allow two bodies to be reconnected would work.

“The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done,” he is reported to have said. “A full head swap between brain dead organ donors is the next stage.”

Volunteer – Russian Valery Spiridonov is apparently the first patient to be signed up for a head transplant from Professor Canavero (Pictures: Reuters)

The operation was apparently carried out by a team led by Dr Xiaoping Ren, who has previously claimed to have successfully grafted a head onto the body of a monkey.

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Professor Canavero, who gained fame for his controversial claims about the first head transplant, apparently said he would offer proof for his claim in the coming days.

He is also said to have signed up his first patient, a Russian man called Valery Spiridinov, who will have his head frozen and then grafted onto a new donor body, according to his doctor.