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German man receives double-arm transplant

Aug. 3, 2008 at 8:01 AM

MUNICH, Germany, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- German doctors say they have performed the world's first successful double-arm transplant.

A 54-year-old male German farmer who had lost both of his arms six years ago underwent a 15-hour procedure July 26 to attach two new donor arms to his body, and the operation was deemed a success, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported Sunday.

The operation was attended by a team of 40 doctors at the Technical University's Rechts der Isar Clinic in Munich. Dr. Christoph Hoehnke, who headed the team, told reporters the patient was in good shape but it may take up to two years for him to regain all the feeling in his new fingertips.

Hospital officials said the main concern in the complex procedure was how to suppress the patient's immune system so it would not reject the new limbs.

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