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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Afet

Did anyone watch ITV's This Morning today?

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OMG! :o

Did anyone else catch this?

On This Morning today, they had a guest who was the first person in the world to have BOTH his forearms transplanted from a donor.

Denis Chatelier was on the show with the surgeons who pioneered this surgery. He was asked if he could feel things, and he said yes. He was moving his hands about like they were his own. It was very bizarre!

He showed his arms and you could tell the difference between his residual and the donor arms by their colour. (Which you can just about make out from the pic below)

I have found a story on this lucky guy, for those of you who are interested, to read. I have pasted it here (The article was taken from this site (you have to scroll down a little to find it). :

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A YEAR AFTER WOLRD'S FIRST DOUBLE ARM TRANSPLANT

These arms are as good as new

Last January, French doctors gave a man a pair of new forearms. Now, he is able to feel hot and cold sensations and do a lot more with the limbs

LYON (France) - A year after a ground-breaking operation, the world's first double-arm transplant patient is able to feel hot and cold sensations in his new forearms and hopes to be able to get a job as a painter or a landscape gardener one day.

I can caress my little boy's hair when he falls asleep on my knees.' -- Mr Chatelier

Mr Denis Chatelier lost both forearms in 1996 when a model rocket he was trying to launch exploded.

French doctors attached two new limbs below the elbows at the Edouard-Herriot hospital in Lyon, central France, in January last year.

Now Mr Chatelier is able to do just as much as he would be able to with the most sophisticated artificial limbs.

His doctors said on Thursday that he had made as much progress as he would have if they had been able to reattach his own arms.

'I can shave on my own, I comb my hair. I can caress my little boy's hair when he falls asleep on my knees,' Mr Chatelier told reporters on Thursday during a routine follow-up visit to the Lyon hospital.

Last January, 18 top surgeons were urgently assembled in Lyon from across the world after a donor was found.

The team of surgeons operated on Mr Chatelier, attaching arteries, veins, nerves, tendons and muscles, as well as setting the new bones during a 17-hour operation.

The team was led by Dr Jean Michel Dubernard, head of transplant surgery at the Lyon hospital.

Mr Chatelier, who is from Brittany in western France, was chosen for the operation because of his strong character.

Before the operation, he had been fitted with two artificial limbs.

In September 1998, a team at the Lyon hospital, also led by Dr Dubernard, had successfully carried out a forearm transplant on Mr Clint Hallam, a 49-year-old New Zealander,

But his recovery has been fraught with problems.

In October last year he said he wanted the limb amputated because his medical progress had not lived up to expectations.

Mr Hallam angered the medical team by losing contact with them regularly and refusing to follow essential drug treatment.

He said that surgeons had refused to amputate the transplanted limb.

Transplant surgery involves serious risks.

Patients must take anti-rejection medication which helps to suppress the immune system and keep the body from destroying foreign tissue.

But this treatment leaves the patient more vulnerable to other diseases. --AP

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How operation was carried out:

Fifty surgeons, specialists and nurses working in several teams worked on Mr Chatelier.

Some prepared him to receive the transplants while others worked on the donor arms.

First the radius and ulna in the forearms were joined and then the arteries and cephalic veins were connected and the first arterial clamps removed.

The tourniquets were loosened and the hands' cool white turned pink. After about 20 minutes, the various nerves were micro-stitched. This took hours. Next were the muscles, then the tendons, inter-woven with the muscles where possible, and finally, the skin.

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Here is another article, which was in The Times newspaper:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1444155,00.html

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Makes you wonder if they will be able to do the same operation with legs.

I think this subject has come up before actually.

It's definitely risky surgery, as your body might reject the transplanted part/s. If it did reject it, you'd obviously require amputation again.

It is my understanding that the patient would have to be on anti-rejection drugs for quite a long time - if not for the rest of their lives - to prevent this rejection from happening.

So, my question to leg amputees now is:

If they were able to do leg transplantation, would you agree to being transplanted with somebody else's leg/s?

Would you be willing to take the risks of failed surgery? :rolleyes:

Just thought of another question:

IF LEG TRANSPLANTATION BECOMES THE NORM, would you be willing to donate your 'good' leg (if the unfortunate were to happen), to give someone else the chance of having two real legs, as opposed to having to use prosthetics?

Any thoughts are welcome.

Edited by Afet

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I don't think I'd want to go through that. I've mentioned previously that my sister is a kidney transplant patient and she has to take anti rejection drugs for the rest of her life. With a kidney, or other essential organ, if you don't have a transplant your life expectancy is considerably lower than that of a person with healthy organs. With limbs it's not such a life and death matter so the risks involved with the surgery and later the drugs would have to be weighed very carefully against any benefits.

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I stood doing my ironing while watching it. (Saint) I had to say it made me cringe thinking about having someone else's leg attached to the end of mine. :unsure: But losing a leg is not as debilitating as losing a hand in my opinion. I can get along fine with my leg (when it fits right). But the difference between the use of a hook and a hand is much greater.

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Bugger that!

Perish the thought, I'd rather hop forever!!

:lol:

Paul

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I'm with June....losing an arm/hand is so much harder than a leg, when it comes to duplicating the motion you lost. I am thrilled with the technology of the legs these days and know it is only getting better with time. I dont think, for me, having a real leg attatched would ever be able to come close to the 'ease of life' I have with my artificial leg. There are so few things I cant do (walk to the bathroom quickly in the night) that to me, are just minor annoyances...much LESS annoying than dealing with more surgery/rejection/drugs.

I can see, for arms, how this might be a good option, to be able to feel and touch things, and also do small motions like tying shoes. But I have to admit it IS creepy, when you look at the picture of that guy...to look down and see someone elses hands on your body...kind of personal.

I hope it works out for this guy, and the technology improves for hand amputees.

Just my little humble opinion....

Oh...and I dont have phantom pains but I would wonder, for those of you who do struggle with them, how much they would change (better/worse) if you put someone elses legs on your body..? :blink:

judy

lbk

utah

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When I was born.god made me the way I was.

When I was hit and then cut up...........God made me the way I am.

That's it / that's All

..............besides..............I wouldn't want any used parts.

ED

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I wouldn't get a leg transplant. I would be afraid of risking rejection and having to have another surgery and losing more of my limb. That's me.

However, I would donate my good leg. I'm certainly not going to need it where I'm going, I'll have wings.... :huh:

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Maybe to donating my good leg. Trouble is I plan on using it for a fair while so it might not be in too good a condition. Kinda used.

Probly no to getting transplant myself. I cope fine like I am.

Cat

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Maybe to donating my good leg. Trouble is I plan on using it for a fair while so it might not be in too good a condition. Kinda used.

Well, if your good leg ends up looking anywhere near like your old prosthesis, I don't think anyone would have it!!! :lol: :P

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Oh...and I dont have phantom pains but I would wonder, for those of you who do struggle with them, how much they would change (better/worse) if you put someone elses legs on your body..? :huh:

A very good question Judy.

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Have to say my good leg is in pretty good shape :D

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Have to say my good leg is in pretty good shape :D

Cat

My needs are 1 right leg A/K minus 8inches which I still have, 32 inch inside leg, quite hairy! Size 10 foot, No tattoos or painted nails please!

I would be prepared to swap if I am in a positon to donor!! :huh:

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If I could be bothered doing the surgery time, I might consider but the thought of being in hospital for that length time of again-Hell No.

No one would want my good leg-cause it's not so good, but it gets me by and for that I'm really glad.

Thanks for the info Afet-things are just moving forward in leaps and bounds. Soon they'll just me growing them back-like Luke Skywalkers arm!!!

Mel.

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It's been very interesting reading all your replies in this thread.

I think it's amazing how far technology has come, but I wouldn't go for it either.

I felt really funny watching that guy on TV... like my legs went weak. :huh: Just the thought of him having a dead guy's hands and moving them about just felt weird to me. I'm sure it must have been strange for him too, at first.

Don't get me wrong, I am very happy for him, that he can enjoy 'feeling' things again, like stroking his childs hair, etc., but I am getting by alright on my prostheses.

I agree with June that it must be different for arm amputees though. I can imagine desperately wanting to have hands and wanting to feel again, if I were in that situation.

One other thing that we've not talked about is how the donor's family might feel if they ever met the recipient??

I'm not talking about organ donation here; just the limbs.

Would you want to go and shake their hands and feel happy that your loved one's arms/legs have made a big difference to somebody else's life?

Or would you find the thought of meeting that person very difficult?

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