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..
Meanwhile, she had been using prosthetic hands but did not like it as they did not allow her to do her daily chores.
The Amrita Hospital created medical history in January 2015 by carrying out India's first hand transplant on a 30-year-old patient, Manu TR. "Only nine such transplants have been conducted in the world till now", said Dr Iyer.Shreya's body has accepted the transplanted hands. She said: "My whole world collapsed and I couldn't believe what had happened".
Shreya's body has accepted the transplanted hands and is showing good signs of recovery.
In September a year ago, while she was returning via road from Pune to her college near Mangaluru, Shreya's hands got crushed when the bus she was travelling in overturned. The doctors said that such a complex transplantation had been done previously only in countries such as America, Germany, Poland and Mexico; while it was for the first time that a man's hands were transplanted to a woman. The surgery lasted for more than 13 hours. Rehabilitation also is more hard because the patient bears the weight of the transplanted hands at the upper arm.
"Upper arm transplants are much 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", said Dr. Subramania Iyer, head of the department of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Kochi hospital. "Hopefully, in the next couple of years, I will lead a near normal life".
'This is the first time that an upper arm transplant has been done in India or even Asia.
KOCHI: Shreya is all smiles with her newly acquired arms. She has been given discharge from the hospital and put on an intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation programme.
However, doctors said, it will take almost two years for Shreya to fully use her hands as the transplants were done at the middle of the upper arm.
"Shreya is now undergoing a regime for movements of her fingers, wrists and shoulders".
'The elbow movements are planned to be started in a couple of weeks'. "We expect that she will regain 85 per cent of hand function in the next one-and-a-half years", says Dr Mohit Sharma.
'Eighteen months after the surgery, the child is more independent and able to complete day-to-day activities, ' said Sandra Amaral, a doctor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where the operation took place.