Author Topic: World's first leg transplant to be given go ahead  (Read 1964 times)

Offline Steve C

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World's first leg transplant to be given go ahead
« on: April 25, 2010, 07:48:46 AM »
I don't know if I would chance it myself.

World's first leg transplant to be given go ahead


The world's first leg transplant is to take place this summer. The breakthrough operation could offer hope to millions of amputees and injured war veterans.

Health chiefs in Spain are expected to give surgeon Pedro Cavadas the go-ahead for the pioneering operation next month. The news comes just a day after it emerged surgeons in Barcelona had performed the world's first full-face transplant.

Cavadas, who has already carried out a partial face transplant and three arm transplants, plans to perform a double leg transplant using limbs from a dead donor.

The unnamed recipient, who would otherwise face life in a wheelchair, had both legs amputated above the knee after an accident.

Spain's National Transplant Organization (ONT), which has studied the request, has already indicated its support.

The country's regional health chiefs will decide whether to approve the operation at a meeting at the end of May. Medics will then alert hospitals nationwide to try to identify a donor.

The operation is expected to take place in the summer at La Fe Hospital in Valencia. It will give hope to British soldiers who have had legs amputated after falling victim to roadside bombs in places like Afghanistan.

Rafael Matesanz, President of the ONT, said: 'My impression on Dr Cavadas' dossier is favourable and that the operation will be approved as the world's first leg transplant.'

Mr Matesanz claimed leg transplants were less complicated than face transplants but had a 'limited clinical justification'.

'In our view a person who has lost a leg is much better off with an artificial limb than a transplant which involves a complicated operation, a long period of rehabilitation and lifelong medication to prevent rejection of the new limb,' he said.

'The same is true of a person who has lost both legs below the knee.

'The case we are dealing with here is that of a person who has lost both legs above the knee near their hips and doesn't have sufficient muscle for doctors to consider fitting artificial limbs.

'These are patients who are facing life in a wheelchair and is the only situation where a double leg transplant is clinically justifiable. 'I hope the operation can take place this year if it is authorized.'

Donors for the three double arm transplants carried out by Dr Cavadas were found within two months of the operation getting the go-ahead, he said.

'The operation is a difficult one but is no more complicated than an arm transplant,' he added. 'Where soldiers have lost legs above the knee, there could be a clinical justification for a transplant and this operation could give them hope.'

Details of the leg transplant operation have not been released. However, it is likely that the donor legs will need to be filled with blood when severed and then chilled.

The bones will be connected first, followed by the tendons and arteries. The nerves can then attached, followed by the veins. A hand transplant operation lasts eight to 12 hours - and a leg operation could be a similar length.

The patient will need to take immuno-suppressive drugs to stop the legs being rejected. Nerves regenerate at the rate of about an inch a month and it is likely the patient will be able to feel their leg after a year.

Spain became the first country to carry out a first full-face operation this week.

A man in his 30s was given another man's lips, nose, jaw, teeth, palate and cheek bones as well as his facial muscles and skin from the bottom of his hair to the top of his neck.

The unnamed recipient is thought to have shot himself in an accident five years ago when he worked as a farmer. The donor, whose family have also demanded anonymity, is believed to have died shortly before the operation in a road accident.

The 24-hour op, involving 30 medical experts, took place on March 20 at Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron Hospital although details were only released this week.

It followed 10 partial face transplants in four countries - France, Spain, the United States and China.

Isabelle Dinoire was given the world's first face transplant in November 2005 in France after her original face was ravaged by her dog.

Spaniard Pedro Cavadas, 45, has carried out a string of headline-making operations.

In 2005 he reconstructed the reproductive organs of two children from Kenya mutilated by locals who believed cooking an under-age virgin's male member cured AIDS.

He successfully performed the world's first double hand transplant on a woman in 2006.

Alba Lucia, 47, had spent 28 years without hands after losing them in an explosion in her native Columbia.
Where ever I go, I'll always have one foot in Ireland   /   I'm not a complete fool. Some parts are missing.

Offline annieg

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Re: World's first leg transplant to be given go ahead
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2010, 10:53:00 AM »
It would be nice if it works but it sound a little scary to me.  annieg
He who limps, still walks.

Offline stinker373

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Re: World's first leg transplant to be given go ahead
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 09:13:39 PM »
Does sound scary but if it works and is able to let peeps walk in a  normal manner that is something to..Early stages will prove what happenes.

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: World's first leg transplant to be given go ahead
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2010, 05:27:14 PM »
this is all great and dandy, but remember the FDA, has to approve this before it can be done here in the states, look back and see how long it took them to approve birth control pills and the morning after bill that was just approved last year. And it took them for ever to approve heart replacement operations, and also kidney transplants. I am not shooting this down just stating what will happen, the FDA will take forever to approve it. they will have to have years of study on it and countless hours and operation that have worked before the will let it happen over here.
you-all have a great day.