Re : the patient should regain the use of his arms

Health 25 August, 2017

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Grenoble Alpes

Published the 25.08.2017 at 17h13


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This is a first in France. A team of surgeons from the University Hospital Center of Grenoble Alpes (CHUGA) have reimplanted the two arms of a woman, victim of a train accident. The members of the patient were sectioned at the level of the humerus.
At the end of four hours of surgery, his arm could be successfully re-implanted where they had been severed, explained the team at the origin of this feat, during a press conference this Friday.

If the transaction had never taken place in France, it is the opportunity of the practice is very rare. In fact, if it happens to intervene on double amputations, most of the time, the state of the states do not allow a replacement. It is then envisaged that a transplant or placement of dentures, said the surgeons, who were referred to a technical act of ” relatively simple “.

Credit : Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Grenoble Alpes

Possible complications

The success of this surgical intervention has been conditioned by the speed of the support. Less than two hours after the accident, the patient was in the operating room. “The duration of ischemia, that is to say, the non-vascularity of tissue due to implantation, is correlated to functional recovery “, explained Denis Corcella, chief of service for surgery of the hand at the CHUGA.
But the caution is in respect to this recovery. In fact, ” the success vascular of this relocation does not leave a portent of the success function, which will depend, to him, the recovery nerve .

Thus, no one can judge, at this stage, the functional recovery of the patient, even if the condition appears stable, and its evolution is favourable – in particular thanks to the young age of the patient (30 years). “The segment is close to the shoulder, the more tissue damage is important and less functional recovery is good,” said the team.

The main possible complication is the vascularization of the members re-implanted. On this point, the doctors can’t decide ” within a week “. There is also a risk of infection, poor bone healing and wound healing. On the other hand, no risk of rejection is possible, given that it is a replacement of members of the patient, and not a transplant.

A function of ” imperfect “

Functional recovery will be “long” and probably ” imperfect “, has warned the team. But the patient should still regain the use of his arms. Such a relocation would not have been possible on the lower limbs, and have yet to know the doctors.

Indeed, concerning the lower limbs, ” on the functional side, it is better to two prosthetics than two members re-implanted that would not walk again normally “. The upper limbs may, however, recover a good portion of their functionality. What we wish moreover to the young woman.