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Mexico performs arm transplant successfully


The patient is satisfactorily making progress. Little by little, the patient is resuming his daily activities. 

This is the first transplant of the kind performed in Mexico.



The surgery was performed on May 18, 2012 at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition. The patient was a man aged 53 who had suffered the amputation of both arms due to electrical burns.


This was the first arm transplant in Mexico. The patient has not shown signs of any kind of complication and the transplant has not been rejected by his system.


The patient, who has shared publicly his experience, used to destine six hours every day to rehabilitation. Now, he has resumed his daily activities and he has even continued attending Law School.


The team of plastic surgeons who participated in the procedure was led by Dr. Martín Iglesias Morales, Head of the Plastic Surgery Service of the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition.


Even though an arm transplant does not represent a necessary procedure to preserve a human life, it is very important to acknowledge that the people who are benefitted by this surgery gain the capacity of reincorporating themselves into society with improved functionality and independence to fulfill their daily activities. Body integrity, a topical aspect of any human life, is given back to people thanks to this procedure.


Currently, two people are enlisted waiting for an arm transplant. To be a candidate for the transplant protocol, the receptor and the donor must resemble in skin color, weight and size. Since this experience requires a lot of moral support, especially during rehabilitation, the patient must also be psychologically healthy and live in a stable family environment.



  • The Government of Mexico has different National Health Institutes in which cutting-edge medical care is offered. One of those institutes is the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition (abbreviated INCMN in Spanish) “Salvador Zubirán”, where the first arm transplant was performed approximately a year ago.


  • The National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition was named after Dr. Salvador Zubirán, a Mexican doctor who educated great physicians and had a transcendental career in the public health sector in Mexico.


  • He fostered the research and study of several illnesses, the formation of specialists, and the widening of infrastructure and necessary equipment. He was a leader and public promoter of creating the right conditions to benefit the population.


All MHM news releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at www.salud.gob.mx

Follow Secretary Mercedes Juan on Twitter @_MJuan_

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