Replacement of extremities, after complete severance from the body, has recently become an object of increasing interest. However, reports dealing with this problem are extremely scarce and are mainly concerned with operative technique. The serious nature of the general and local effects induced by replantation of an extremity has not been generally appreciated. Tose, studying the technique of limb replantation in dogs, reported two long-term survivals in a series of 34 experiments.1 MacDonald et al, in similar experiments, found a 77% mortality rate.2 In our series of 27 limb transplantations, reported elsewhere in this journal, we encountered an immediate mortality of 40% within the first days after replantation.3 In this study it was apparent that marked swelling occurred in the replanted limbs and seemed to be related to the high incidence of immediate death as well as to the local complications.
The purpose of the experiments in
EIKEN O, NABSETH DC, MAYER RF, DETERLING RA. Limb ReplantationII. The Pathophysiological Effects. Arch Surg. 1964;88(1):54-65. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01310190056007