Doctors practiced US soldiers 13 hour double arm transplant four times

first_imgIn April 2009 Brendan Marrocco suffered serious injuries when his unit’s vehicle was hit by an Explosive Fired Projectile (EFP) while undertaking a night mission in Iraq. Brendan survived, but his injuries meant doctors had to amputate both his arms and legs. He also lost 8 teeth, suffered face and neck lacerations and burns, had several broken bones, shrapnel in his face and eye, and a severed left carotid artery.The fact that he recovered at all is amazing, but as of yesterday Brendan has his arms back due to a compatible donor and a successful double arm transplant.The operation was carried out at John Hopkins Hospital on December 18 and Brendan has been in recovery for the past month with both his new arms still heavily bandaged. The long recovery time is understandable considering just how complex the operation was.Doctors had Brendan on the operating table for 13 hours as they carefully attached the bones, muscles, nerves, tendons, blood vessels, and finally the skin of both arms. He also received bone marrow from the donor in a bid to stop the new limbs from being rejected and to minimize his reliance on anti-rejection drugs. It seems to have worked, and it’s all due to the hard work his team of doctors put in during preparations for the operation.This isn’t a procedure that just happened, though. The 13 hour operation was preceded by months of planning, which included the doctors carrying out the full operation four times using cadavers. Such careful planning and practice is essential, as even one mistake could have seen the new arms rejected and Brendan potentially suffering complications because of it.Brendan will now continue to recover at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he will undergo physical therapy. If his progress continues without issue, he should eventually have two functioning arms and is looking forward to swimming and driving again.via Voice of Americalast_img read more