On behalf of Central Military Hospital 108's leadership, Doctor Mai Hong Bang, Director of the Hospital, briefed General Lich on the preparations and process of limb transplant from a living donor.

Defense Minister Lich (second from right) inquires after the patient

The limb recipient was Pham Van Vuong, 31, from Thanh Tri district, Hanoi. He suffered an accident at work in 2016. His left hand and about one third of his arm were irreparably damaged and doctors had to amputate it.

On January 3, the hospital received another serious case. The victim also suffered a work accident that damaged his upper left arm, near the armpit.

After three weeks of treatment, doctors were unable to save the patient’s arm and decided to amputate it.

When examining the injury, doctors also found that the excess part of the amputated limb (one third below the forearm to the hand) was relatively normal and could be used to transplant to another patient with limbs amputated in the corresponding parts.

It was then that the victim and his family agreed to donate the hand to Vuong as a humane gesture.

After careful consideration of all the possible risks, the Board of Directors of the hospital and surgical team reached a decision after a special pre-surgery consultation as they decided to perform a limb transplant for Vuong.

The surgery was conducted by professor Nguyen The Hoang, Deputy Director of the hospital, and his colleagues.

More than a month after the operation, Vuong is able to use his left hand to hold several things.

To achieve this success, Central Military Hospital 108 has well prepared for many years, including sending doctors to study abroad or join in domestic courses, implementing scientific research projects, receiving patients, and preparing limb resources.

Since 1998, only about 89 limb transplants have been carried out in the world. All transplants were taken from brain-dead donors. In Southeast Asia, there has been no single case of a limb transplant being reported. So the world’s first hand transplant from a living donor was carried out at Military Hospital 108.

On behalf of the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defense, General Ngo Xuan Lich acknowledged and praised the achievements of Central Military Hospital 108 in general and the doctors of the limb transplant in particular.

He also stressed that this was a great progress and an important milestone, affirming the determination to reach medical peaks and the comprehensive qualifications of doctors of the hospital.

"The success of this limb transplant will open up new prospects for the military medical sector in handling situations and fulfilling its tasks of caring for and protecting troops and citizens," he added.

The Defense Minister hoped that on the basis of the achieved results, the hospital's doctors and nurses will continue to raise their qualifications, strengthen scientific research, and master new techniques, thereby deserving the trust of the Party, State, military, and people.

On this occasion, Gen. Lich also visited and presented gifts to patient Pham Van Vuong.

Translated by Lam Anh