They performed the first double arm and shoulder implants in history

Gretarson of Iceland is the first man to undergo an arm and shoulder transplant.

Felix Gretarson, 48-year-old electrician will go down in medical history as his first man Double arm and shoulder implants. It is not clear how mobile he is, but after two weeks of this unprecedented intervention, which was carried out at the Eduard Herriot Hospital, in Lyon, southeastern France, he admitted that he felt relieved, and especially hopeful. better future.

On January 12, 1998, Gretarson, 26, was working on a high-voltage power line when an 11,000-volt surge burned his hands and threw him into the frozen ground. He suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries.

He was in a coma for three months and when he was out of that state he was Amputation of both arms. Additionally, he had to undergo several other operations, including a liver transplant.

In 2010, there was a similar case: John Beck, A United States Marine Corps soldier, who lost both arms and legs after stepping on explosives in Afghanistan and underwent exciting experiments before, in 2016, in a hospital in Boston, USA, and they managed to have a successful double arm implant.

Gretarson also needed a transplant of one of his shoulders and it seemed to be an irreversible fate, only from the outside because he didn’t quit himself and was constantly looking for a solution to his problem.

Aram Ghazarian, the lead surgeon for the operation

Giving a little to someone who was losing a lot is really a lot.

One day it was visited by Jean-Michel Dubernard, pioneer of hand implants Reykjavik, The capital of Iceland, to give a lecture, Gretarson came to him to ask if the lost limbs could be replaced. “It was his biggest dream,” says his wife, Siluia. With that in mind, he settled seven years ago in Lyon due to the notoriety the city had acquired in this matter.

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Double arm and shoulder implants

To find Appropriate donors It took years. During that time, about 50 medical personnel participated in the preparations for the operation. “At this level of amputation, We cannot promise anythingLionel Baddett, the surgeon who in 2010 launched the medical protocol for the operation, said.

On January 13th Four teams of professionals They dedicated themselves to working on both ends. They rebuilt the bones, revitalize the limbs, and finally, dedicate themselves to the delicate task of connecting muscles, tendons, nerves, and skin.

“I always knew this was going to happen,” Gretarson confirms, referring to the transplant. “I began to consider them mine (…) Although it wasn’t easy, above all, it was very painful. Icelandic explained to the weekly that the first 24 hours were horrific platform.

According to his own perception, his development, soon after surgery, is “very good”. From the transplant service room, he comments, “I’m taking a lot of painkillers however I feel like I’m progressing every day“.

“Giving a little to someone who’s been losing a lot is really a lot,” Aram Ghazarian, chief surgeon for the operation, told a news conference. “If he can actively regain the ability to flex his elbow, it will change his life,” he added.

Greatarson is optimistic about the possibility Restore some movement On his limbs, though he might not win any of them. The man confirms that he begins to grab her arms. “I love my hands,” he says. “It’s like my old hands.”

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The doctors who performed the surgery claim that Expectations For the right arm to become better functional than the left arm, which also required a complete reconstruction of the shoulder. The good sign is that so far no serious complications have been detected.

After the historic intervention, the Icelandic must spend another three weeks in the hospital before being transferred to the physical and neurological rehabilitation service, near Lyon. In front of you Years of work. During the operation, he will not be alone, as in addition to being with his wife, the team that attends confirms that they will support him throughout his life.

Freddie Dawson

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