Kerala: 19-Year-Old Student Given Rare Upper-Arm Hand Transplant
A 19-year-old student of chemical engineering at the Manipal Institute of Technology, Shreya Siddanagowda was given an upper-arm double hand transplant, after she lost both her hands in a road accident.
An upper-arm double hand transplant is a very rare and complex surgical procedure.
- 19-year-old student in Kerala given upper arm double hand transplant.
- Very rare and complex surgery, first of its kind in Asia
- A team of 20 surgeons and 16-member anaesthetics squad did surgery
The rare and complex transplant surgery was successfully carried out by a team of 20 highly experienced surgeons accompanied by a 16-member anaesthetic team, led by Dr Subramania Iyer, head of the Department of Plastic and Reconstuctive Surgery at Kochi's renowned Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS).
The surgery, first of its kind in Asia, lasted for more than 13 hours.
Shreya is the only daughter of Suma Nuggihalli and Fakir Gowda Siddnagowder.
According to Dr Iyer, "Upper arm transplants are more challenging than those at the wrist or forearm level due to the complexity involved in accurately identifying and connecting various nerves, muscles, tendons and arteries. Only nine such cases have been reported the world. Rehabilitation also is more difficult because the patient bears the weight of the transplanted hands at the upper arm. In Shreya's case, both transplants were done at the middle of the upper arm."
Shreya has been gifted the hands of a 20-year-old student of B.Com, Sachin, who was declared brain-dead after suffering a fatal head injury in a road accident.
After the transplant, Shreya is recovering very well. She has been given discharge from the hospital and put on an intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation programme.
"Shreya is currently undergoing a regime of movements for fingers, wrists and shoulders. We expect that she will regain 85 per cent of hand function in the next one-and-a-half years," says Dr Mohit Sharma.
Shreya is quite happy about her treatment and says, "Hopefully, in the next few years, I will be able to lead a near normal and happy life. I want to continue my studies and fulfill my dreams which I had before the accident."