(VALENCIA, Spain) -- In what could turn out to be a major breakthrough for limb amputees, Spanish surgeons have performed the first double-leg transplant on a man who had lost both legs above the knees in an accident.
According to Dr. Pedro Cavadas of La Fe Hospital in Valencia, doctors will find out before long if the legs are rejected. Otherwise, it will take a month until they know if the transplant was successful.
Cavadas said that after a suitable cadaver donor was found, his team performed the surgery last Sunday on the unidentified patient. It took 14 hours to connect bones, nerves and tissues.
Prior to the decision to perform a double leg transplant, doctors tried fitting the patient with artificial legs but the procedure didn't take because the man didn't have enough of his own limbs to accommodate the prostheses.
Cavadas has had experience with delicate transplants before, having performed Spain's first face transplant, which included the first new tongue and jaw given to any patient in the world.
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