German doctors perform first-ever double arm transplant

AFP - [email protected] • 1 Aug, 2008 Updated Fri 1 Aug 2008 18:08 CEST
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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, 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 various 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 facility had 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.

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

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



AFP 2008/08/01 18:08

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