Kochi: Shreya Siddanagowda, a 19-year-old chemical engineering student of Manipal Institute of Technology, who lost both her hands in a road mishap, got a new lease of life through upper-arm double hand-transplant.
The transplant, done at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, (AIMS) Kochi, is very rare and the first of its kind in Asia, according to hospital authorities.
Hands of 20-year-old Sachin, a B.Com student who was declared brain-dead after suffering fatal head injury in a road accident has been grafted on Shreya. She is the only daughter of Suma Nuggihalli and Fakir gowda Siddnagowder, a senior manager with Tata Motors, Pune.
The complex surgical procedure was successfully performed by a team of 20 surgeons and a 16-member anaesthetic team led by Dr Subramania Iyer, head of Department of Plastic and Reconstr-uctive Surgery. The surgery lasted for more than 13 hours.
“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,” said Dr Iyer.
Shreya’s body has accepted the transplanted hands and is showing good signs of recovery. She has been discharged 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,” said Dr Mohit Sharma. Though the girl started using prosthetic limbs four months after her arms were amputated at the elbow, she was unhappy and was waiting for a suitable donor for hand transplant.
“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....