Lyon: A First Double Transplant of the Arms and Shoulders Performed on a Man

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A first double transplant of the arms and shoulders performed on a man in Lyon

A 48-year-old Icelandic man on Wednesday became the first person to have both shoulders and both arms transplanted. The intervention was carried out on Wednesday in Lyon

  • The first transplant of all the arms and shoulders was performed Wednesday in Lyon on a 48-year-old man.
  • This Icelandic father, once an electrician, had both arms amputated at the age of 26, following electrocution on a high-voltage line.
  • The patient, who underwent a heavy and long operation, is currently in intensive care.

The Lyon teams have just achieved a new surgical feat. Practitioners from the Edouard Herriot hospital, the Clinique du Parc, the Villefranche-sur-Saône hospital, Mermoz and the Villeurbanne Medipole successfully completed the first double transplant of all the arms and legs on Wednesday evening. shoulders, according to our information. This very heavy, complex operation required 14 hours of intervention and took place at the Edouard Herriot hospital. The patient is currently in intensive care.

While rare arm transplants have already been performed, they did not previously include the shoulders. Two teams were responsible for removing the limbs of the donor and two others for grafting the recipient. He is a 48-year-old Icelandic man. This father, formerly an electrician, had both arms amputated at the age of 26, following electrocution on a high voltage line.

“His condition is stable,” said the civil hospices of Lyon on Thursday afternoon, specifying that his care will continue between the hospitals Edouard Herriot and Henry Gabrielle.

On the waiting list for almost 5 years

The patient decided to settle in Lyon in 2013, two years after the acceptance of his transplant file. He had previously contacted the teams in Lyon, after learning about the work of Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard, the first to have performed a hand transplant in 1998 , then a double hand transplant two years later. He had been on the waiting list for five years.

It will now be necessary to wait in order to control the problems of rejection and the rehabilitation of transplanted limbs. The HCL management has planned a “specific communication on the subject” in “short time”.

The world’s first transplant of both arms took place in 2008 in Munich, Germany. The recipient had been grafted below the shoulder. In France, only one patient was transplanted from both arms, but not all. She saw her own limbs re-implanted, above the elbows, in August 2018 at the Grenoble University Hospital. Or a few weeks after his accident.

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