Earlier this month, an unidentified male patient underwent a 13 hour operation to become the recipient of the world’s first double leg transplant. The doctor in charge of the operation, Pedro Cavadas (pictured), is known in Spain for having made several groundbreaking organ transplants including a double arm transplant in October 2008, the first ever performed in Spain and the second in the world, and a face transplant in August 2009.
This surgery, which has been planned since November last year, is being described as a success by the team who performed it at La Fe Hospital in Valencia. The recipient of the legs (whose own legs had been amputated high on the thigh following a road accident, making prosthetics impractical) is also said to be “very pleased” with the results.
The doctors must now wait to see if the recipients nerves regrow properly and if the immunotherapy he is currently undergoing will stop his body from rejecting the new limbs. If all goes according to plan, doctors say that he should gain feeling in his new legs in a few months, but they hope that they’ll have him moving his knees in less time than that, and even walking, in six to seven months. It is expected that he will eventually gain full functioning.
Rafael Matesanz, the director of the National Transplant Organisation said:
“When a patient is missing one leg or the amputation is below the knee, a prosthesis is the recommended treatment”
“The indications for this kind of surgery are very rare; it is when the amputation is so high that there is really no space to fit a prosthesis and the patient is condemned to remain in a wheelchair,”
Awesome! Can I call dibs on Usain Bolt’s legs should the opportunity arise?
Source : PopSci