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Thursday
Sep132012

Boston Surgeons to Conduct Nation's First Double Arm Transplant

(BOSTON) -- Surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston will perform the nation’s first double arm transplant on a Texas woman, the hospital announced Wednesday.

Katy Hayes, 44, a quadruple amputee and mother of three from Kingwood, Texas, has been approved for the transplant after undergoing rigorous evaluation.

In 2010, Hayes, a former massage therapist, developed a flesh-eating bacterial infection after giving birth to her third child. To keep her alive, doctors had to amputate her arm above the elbow, her legs above her knees, her uterus and her large intestines.

The procedure will involve a team of 40 medical experts, doctors said at the news conference.

The transplant will connect skin, muscle, bones and blood vessels on both arms. While the surgery will repair the appearance of her arms, doctors are not sure whether full function of the arms will be restored.

Hand and arm transplants not only depend on connecting the blood supply, but also on nerve regrowth for the arm to function normally, according to Dr. Vijay Gorantla, administrative medical director of the Pittsburgh Reconstructive Transplant Program at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who is not involved in Hayes’ transplant.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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