Through upper-arm double hand-transplant, a 19-year-old chemical engineering student of Manipal Insitute of Technology, Shreya Siddanagowda got a new lease of life. She lost both her hands in a road accident.
Hand-transplant has done at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, (AIMS) Kochi. It is unique and the first one in Asia, according to the Hospital authorities.
Sachin, a 20-year-old B.com student who was declared brain-dead after suffering a fatal head injury in a road accident has been grafted to Shreya.
A team of competent 20 surgeons had successfully performed surgery which lasted for more than 13 hours and a 16-members anesthetic team led by Dr. Subramania Iyer, head of Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
“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 in the middle of the upper arm,” said Dr. Iyer.
Now, she has been discharged from the hospital and put on an intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation programme. It seems that the Shreya's body has accepted the transplanted hands and it also showing good signs of recovery.
“Shreya is currently undergoing a regime of movements for fingers, wrists, and shoulders. We expect that she will regain 85 percent of hand function in the next one-and-a-half years,” said Dr. Mohit Sharma.
After the accident, she was unhappy and waiting for an apt donor for hand transplant as she was using prosthetic limbs four months after her arms were amputated at the elbow.
“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,” she said.