French-Armenian surgeon performs world's first double-arm-and-shoulder transplantation

French-Armenian surgeon performs world's first double-arm-and-shoulder transplantation

PanARMENIAN.Net - French Armenian surgeon Aram Gazarian was the lead surgeon of the world's first double-arm-and-shoulder transplantation in Lyon, The Guardian reports.

The patient – Felix Gretarsson, a 48-year-old electrician from Iceland – is recovering well after the operation, although doctors said it was still uncertain how much mobility he will recover following the operation earlier this month in the southeastern French city of Lyon.

But “giving a little to somebody who was missing so much, that’s already a lot” Gazarian told a news conference on Friday, January 22.

“If he can recover the possibility to actively bend his elbow, that would be a life-changer,” he said.

On 12 January, 1998, Gretarsson was working on a high-voltage power line when an 11,000-volt surge burned his hands and flung him to the icy ground. He sustained multiple fractures and internal injuries, and went into a three-month coma during which surgeons amputated both arms. He underwent several more operations, including a liver transplant.

Doctors said the outlook for the right arm to become functional was better than for the left, which had also required a complete rebuild of the shoulder. No serious complications had been detected nine days after the operation, they said.

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