Lyon (AFP)

An Icelandic man on Wednesday became the first patient to have both shoulders and both arms transplanted during an operation in Lyon, the Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL) reported on Friday.

This "bilateral arm transplant", carried out at the Edouard-Herriot Hospital, lasted 15 hours and "required the mobilization of many public and private medical and nursing teams in the territory", the HCL said in a press release, confirming information 20 minutes from Lyon.

A spokesperson told AFP that the patient, of Icelandic nationality, was in stable condition on Friday morning.

This is "to our knowledge of a world first, the previous arm transplants not having included the shoulders," said this spokesperson.

According to several local media, this 48-year-old patient had both arms amputated at the age of 26 after an electrocution on a high-voltage line.

The operation notably involved teams from the Clinique du Parc (Lyon), the North West Hospital (Villefranche-sur-Saône), the Jean-Mermoz Private Hospital (Lyon) and the Lyon-Villeurbanne Medipôle.

Patient care will continue between the Edouard-Herriot Hospital and the Henry-Gabrielle Hospital of the HCL, added the public hospital group.

In 1998, it was already in Lyon that Prof. Jean-Michel Dubernard's team had performed a first hand transplant, then another of both hands and the lower part of the forearms in January 2000.

The first transplant in the world of the whole of the two arms took place in July 2008 in Germany, on a farmer amputated following an industrial accident.

In France, a patient had her own limbs reimplanted in August 2017 at the Grenoble University Hospital, thanks to the rapid conditioning of the limbs in a refrigerated container.

The HCLs indicate that they have planned to carry out a "specific communication at short notice, in order to disseminate more information on this intervention".

© 2021 AFP