Amrita Hospital in Kochi has made history by performing India’s first full arm transplant of shoulder size.
A man from Karnataka and two patients from Iraq who lost both hands due to electrocution have successfully undergone bilateral hand transplantation at Amrita Hospital in Kochi. Limbs were harvested from donors affected by road accidents in Kerala.
25-year-old Amaresh’s donor is Vinod (54), Mint reported. Vinod used to work in the Gulf region. He died tragically when his motorcycle collided with a private bus while on his way to his hometown in Kollam district of Kerala. Suffering severe head injuries, Vinod was admitted to Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College. Despite doctors’ best efforts, he could not be revived and was declared brain dead on January 4, 2022. Vinod’s family immediately agreed to donate various organs, including his hands, following his death.
Amresh was seriously injured in September 2017 when he was electrocuted while repairing a charged electric cable. He suffered multiple fractures and electrical burns on his hands. He was rushed to hospital where doctors had to amputate both his arms to save his life. While the right arm is amputated at the elbow, the left arm should be amputated at the level of the right shoulder.
Amaresh then approached Amrita Hospital’s hand transplant team and subsequently registered with the Kerala Network for Organ Sharing (KNOS) in September 2018 as an organ recipient awaiting a transplant.
“After harvesting a pair of hands for transplantation from Vinod, Amaresh was rushed to Amrita Hospital on January 5, 2022, where Dr. Subramania Iyer and Dr. Mohit Sharma led a team of 20 surgeons and 10 anesthetists to successfully transplant both limbs. In a marathon operation,” the hospital said.
According to doctors, full arm transplant at shoulder level is very rare. In fact, this is the third such operation in the world. There are profound technical difficulties in shoulder-level transplantation, particularly the adjustment of the donated upper limb to the recipient’s shoulder.
But luckily, the successful operation gave Amaresh new weapons.
Meanwhile, Yusif Hassan, an interior construction worker and father of two daughters from Baghdad, had an accident in 2019 while drilling a wall. The driller accidentally came into contact with a hidden high-voltage power cable, instantly electrocuting him. He was rushed to hospital where doctors had to amputate both his arms from the elbow to save his life.
His donor turned out to be a 39-year-old woman named Ambili from Alappuzha. He died in a car accident in 2022. His family immediately agreed to donate his organs, including his hands, to those in need. On February 2, 2022, Ambili’s hands were successfully attached to Yusuf in a 16-hour surgery led by Dr. Subramania Iyer and Dr. Mohit Sharma.
Amrita Hospital, Dr. Along with the surgical team led by Iyer, in January 2015, 30-year-old Manu performed the country’s first hand transplant, pioneering hand transplantation in India. With these two surgeries, a total of 11 patients have received hand transplants at Amrita.