The world’s first double leg transplant was performed in a hospital in Valencia, Spain, for a patient who had lost his legs in an accident.
A team led by Dr. Pedro Cavadas, who in 2009 performed the first face transplant, worked on the operation for 14 hours. Doctors of La Fe Hospital in Valencia implanted nerves and muscles in the portions of the legs that had remained after they were cut in the accident.
It will take a month to see if the nerves are working normally. The patient, who is in his 20s, is expected to move his knees in three weeks, and in two months he should be able to stay in a pool of water on his feet. Surgeons say that if the recovery goes well, in six months the patient could walk again.
Doctors initially tried to fit him with prosthetic limbs, but the operation failed. Pedro Cavadas transplant surgeon claims that was the only alternative to life in a wheelchair.
Fifty surgeons, anesthetists, nurses and other hospital medical staff were involved in the surgery.
The donor of the two legs hasn’t been revealed, but it is speculated that he is one of the two teenagers who died in a motorcycle accident last weekend near Valencia.