Rajasthan man is Asia’s first to undergo a bilateral arm transplant

rajasthan man is asia’s first to undergo a bilateral arm transplant

rajasthan man is asia’s first to undergo bilateral arm transplant

New Delhi: In what is said to be the first of its kind surgery in Asia, a farmer from Rajasthan’s Ajmer successfully underwent a bilateral total arm transplant.

A team of doctors from Mumbai’s Global Hospital performed a complex, 16-hour surgery on 33-year-old Prema Ram Choudhry, rekindling his hopes of an independent normal life.

Ram had lost his arms 12 years back when he accidentally touched a live electric pole and sustained severe electric burns. Doctors had to amputate both his arms for a life-saving surgery which he finally underwent almost up to the shoulder level that made his life a living torture.

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rajasthan man is asia’s first to undergo a bilateral arm transplant

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Ram also tried to get artificial limbs and prosthetics but in vain, so he led an extremely disabled and dependent life.

The surgery

According to the Times of India, Ram’s family had enquired about arms transplant options in Europe which were very expensive and a similar operation was impossible in India then.

The team, led by Dr. Satbhai said that previously a bilateral total arm transplant was done in Europe and Global Hospitals attempted the first such operation in Asia.

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rajasthan man is asia’s first to undergo a bilateral arm transplant

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However, it was an extremely challenging surgery as the doctors had to prepare the two arms, attach them, connect the blood vessels, and restore the blood supply perfectly so that the donor’s arms survive and start functioning.

“Doing a hand transplant at such a proximal level is very challenging. It is a race against time. During the procedure, timing and coordination are important so that limbs are attached to the body as early as possible so that blood circulation begins immediately due to a large number of muscles being transferred. Doing similar surgery on both sides adds up to technical and logistical challenges,” Dr. Satbhai said.

“For such procedures, timing and coordination are important so that limbs are attached to the body as early as possible to enable immediate resumption of blood circulation in the large number of muscles that are transferred, and doing the same surgery on both arms adds to the technical and logistical efforts,” Dr. Satbhai explained.

Road to recovery

Ram was successfully operated on February 9 after he received the limbs from a potential brain-dead donor in Surat and discharged a month later.

According to Dr. Satbhai, the nerve sensation in Ram’s new arms have been restored at the pace of 1mm per day. So, to rebuild the nerves needed to transmit sensations from the brain to the top of forefingers, it would approximately take 600 days.

Dr. Satbhai said Ram will undergo extensive physiotherapy sessions on both his new arms for almost two years.

Hand transplants are extremely rare as compared to, say, kidney transplants, with less than 30 performed in India, including eight in Mumbai.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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