Since the first replant more than 50 years ago, thousands of severed body parts have been reattached, preserving the quality of life for thousands of patients through improved function and appearance that the void remaining after amputation cannot provide.
Ronald Malt performed the first replantation on May 23, 1962 at Massachusetts General Hospital on a 12-year-old boy who had his right arm amputated in a train accident. This amputation occurred at the level of the humeral neck.
Replantation has been defined by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand as “the surgical reattachment of a body part, most commonly a finger, hand or arm, that has been completely cut from a person’s body”.
Replantation of amputated parts has been performed on fingers, hands, forearms, arms, toes, feet, legs, ears, avulsed scalp injuries, a face, lips, penis and a tongue.
The repair of the nerves and vessels (artery & vein) of the amputated part is essential for survival and function of the replanted part of the body. Using an operating microscope for replantatation is termed microvascular replantation. However, vessels and nerves of large amputated parts (e.g. arm and forearm) may be reconnected using loupe or no magnification. (Wikipedia)