Icelandic Man Undergoes Double Arm Transplant Surgery Skip to content
Guðmundur Felix Grétarsson running in Heiðmörk in 2013.
Photo: Golli. Guðmundur Felix Grétarsson running in Heiðmörk in 2013.

Icelandic Man Undergoes Double Arm Transplant Surgery

A 48-year old Icelandic man underwent a double arm transplant at the Edouard Harriot hospital in Lyon, France, last Wednesday. The 14-hour operation was technically successful but doctors are waiting to see how the body responds to the transplant before claiming it a complete success.

Guðmundur Felix Grétarsson, who lost both arms in an accident at work more than 20 years ago, underwent a double arm transplant surgery in Lyon, France last Wednesday. The surgery took nearly 15 hours and is the first one ever where two arms are transplanted above the shoulder.

Felix was only 26 and working as an electrician when he lost both arms after receiving a high voltage shock. He is now 48 and moved to Lyon in 2013 to be closer to the hospital in case of an opportunity for the surgery. He has been on a waiting list for five years.

According to local media, the operation was performed using a new technique at the Edouard Herriot hospital. Arm transplants are rare, the first one performed in 1998, and until now, have only been tried below the shoulder. Two teams of surgeons removed the limbs from the donor and another two grafted them to the patient. More than 50 doctors and nurses took part in the over 14-hour operation.

Felix is now in recovery and his condition is stable. He was kept unconscious after the surgery, but his wife Sylwia has confirmed that he is awake and feeling well.

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