Photo: Medical news
A team of Spanish surgeons has successfully performed the second-ever double-arm transplant in Spain and the fifth in the world on a 41-year-old man who was having complications after being severely electrically burned.
A team of more than 20 people took part in the 12-hour procedure at Hospital La Paz de Madrid.
Luis, a married father of two, had to have both his arms amputated just below his armpits after he was burned in an incident that also severely injured his abdomen and legs.
The director of Spain’s National Transplant Organization, Rafael Matesanz, said that this was a transplant that normally consists of transferring portions of vascularized tissue from the hands, face or abdominal wall, although the most common area to take tissue from is the arms.
Before the surgery is performed, the patient must undergo a series of psychological evaluations due to the complexity of the operation and the psychological repercussions that their new life could have, Matesanz said.
Since this transplant was considered experimental, it is necessary to get the approval of the ethics committee and other authorities.
After numerous tests, the team of doctors found a suitable donor, whose identity will remain secret at the express wish of his family.
Luis, who will have to take medication for the rest of his life to prevent his body from rejecting the transplant, was selected from among 10 candidates approved to undergo extremely complicated medical procedures.