Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

ENCORE!

Haute Couture: the hand-stitched clothing made in Paris that sells for the price of small yachts

Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Netanyahu resists international pressure to stop air strikes on Gaza

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

  • Kurdish forces take over two oilfields in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more

  • Italy’s Trentin wins seventh stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Disgraced Suarez leaves Liverpool for Barcelona

    Read more

  • In pictures: Chanel, Dior and so much more at the Paris couture shows

    Read more

  • French ‘Civic Service’ eyes massive expansion amid huge demand

    Read more

  • In Pictures: Petrol station hit by Hamas rockets

    Read more

  • Manhunt as FIFA partner flees Rio hotel to avoid arrest

    Read more

  • Video: Palestinians fear full Israeli military offensive in Gaza

    Read more

German doctors perform full-arm transplant

©

Latest update : 2008-08-01

Doctors at the Technical University clinic in Munich have performed the first complete arm transplant. The operation lasted 15 hours, with 40 people assisting. The patient, a 54-year-old farmer, had lost both arms in a work accident.

A German medical team said Friday it had performed what it called the world's first transplant of two full arms, on a farmer who had lost both his limbs in an accident.

The male patient, 54, was "doing well under the circumstances" after the 15-hour operation on July 25-26, a spokeswoman for the clinic at the Technical University in the southern city of Munich said.

The amputee, who had lived without arms for six years since the accident, consulted the 40-member team at the university's Rechts der Isar Clinic after two failed attempts to use artificial prostheses.

"The man required round-the-clock assistance -- a condition he wanted to change as quickly as possible," the clinic said in a statement.

The head of the transplant team, Christoph Hoehnke, told reporters he was deeply moved as the man's wife went to his bedside after the operation and instinctively reached for his hands.

"They look just like they used to," she said, according to Hoehnke.

The patient was in a good condition but it could take two years before he "really has feeling in his fingertips again" because the transplanted nerves must still grow, the clinic spokeswoman said.

The facility has a decades-old unit for microsurgery and replantation surgery, with a speciality in interdisciplinary operations it said was essential for a procedure of this complexity.

Professor Hans-Guenther Machens had prepared the transplant since he became the clinic's director in December.

Doctors said suppressing the man's immune system so it would not reject the new limbs was a key concern.

Another challenge was finding a donor who matched the patient's sex, age, skin colour, size and blood type.

Five teams working in two operating rooms gathered at 10:00 pm the night of the operation, divided between the patient and the donor, who had died only hours before.

The first step was to expose the muscle, nerves and blood vessels to be connected. Before the bones of the donor could be cut, blood vessels in his arms were filled with a cooled preservation solution.

Both arms were then removed exactly at the point matching the patient's arm stumps. First the bones were joined, then arteries and veins to ensure blood circulation as quickly as possible.

"The arms quickly resumed their rosy colour," the spokeswoman said.

The surgeons then attached the muscles and tendons, then the nerves and finally the skin.

The doctors will now monitor how the wounds heal and whether infections, side effects from medication or any other rejection by the immune system occurs.

But they said they were pleased with the progress of the patient, who is receiving physical therapy as well as psychological counselling.

The clinic said that hand and lower arm transplants were still rare and that the Munich operation, by attaching an elbow joint as well as an upper arm, posed a greater challenge for the immune and circulatory systems.

Date created : 2008-08-01

Comments

COMMENT(S)