The first human head transplant could be a step closer after surgeons "successfully" performed the operation on two corpses.
He made the claims at a conference in Vienna but did not give any proof of having carried out the path-breaking surgery.
Dr. Sergio Canavero said the procedure would take place in China because the USA and Europe would not allow it.
Canavero has previously said that his Chinese partner Xiaoping Ren already successfully carried out an animal head transplant on a monkey in January, 2016. He says the next phase in to perform the swap on two living, but brain dead organ donors. "But the surgery was successful".
The total time taken the surgery is claimed to be of 18 hours.
He has 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.
The operation was carried out by a team led by Dr Xiaoping Ren, who past year successfully grafted a head onto the body of a monkey.
Prof Canavero said scientific papers detailing the procedure, as well as more details of the first live human transplant would be released within the next few days.
He originally estimated that the operation would required 36 hours of surgery, but said the Chinese team had managed to halve that estimate.
"After several transplants, the first full rehearsal has taken place in China".
But many from the medical community have denounced the 53-year-old's controversial plans, with some scientists warning that the first patient to undergo the operation could experience something "a lot worse than death", fearing they could undergo horrendous suffering as they adjust to their new body.
However, that operation can not be considered a "full" head transplant as the team did not attempt to join the spinal cords and the animal would have been completely paralyzed.
But the whole thing reeks of zombie science, according to The Outline, which wrote about Canavero and the promise of the head transplant back in March.