A Double Arm and Shoulder Transplant in France, a World First

A specialized team of doctors in Lyon France performed the first double transplantation on both arms and shoulders. The patient, a 48-year-old Icelander, is in stable condition.

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An Icelander became the first patient to have both shoulders and arms transplanted during surgery in Lyon on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, les Hospices civils de Lyon (HCL) reports. This double arm transplantation, performed at Edouard-Herriot Hospital, lasted 15 hours and required the mobilization of many medical teams from public and private care in the area, HCL said in a statement.

The patient had both arms amputated at the age of 26

An HCL spokesman told AFP that the patient, who has Icelandic citizenship, was in stable condition Friday morning. It is “to our knowledge, a world first, as there has been no shoulder transplantation in arm transplants before,” the spokeswoman said. As reported by several local media outlets, the 48-year-old patient, at the age of 26, had both arms amputated after suffering an electric shock from a power line.

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The operation involved teams from Clinique du Parc (Lyon), Hôpital Nord-Ouest (Villefranche-sur-Saône), Hôpital privé Jean-Mermoz (Lyon) and Médipôle Lyon-Villeurbanne. Patient care will continue between HCL’s Edouard Herriot Hospital and Henry Gabrielle Hospital, the public hospital group added.

A team specializing in upper limb transplantation

Prof. Jean-Michel Dubernard’s team performed a first-hand transplant in Lyon as early as 1998, followed by another on both hands and the lower forearms in January 2000. The world’s first transplant of both arms took place in July 2008 in Germany, on a farmer who had both arms amputated after an accident at work.

In France, a patient had her own limbs reimplanted in August 2017 at Grenoble University Hospital thanks to the rapid limb transport in a refrigerated container.

The HCL said it plans to “carry out specific communication in a short time to give more information about this intervention.”

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Double greffe des bras et des épaules à Lyon, une première mondiale




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