The nerve transplant is a complex procedure that utilizes advanced technology in order to reverse many life-altering paralyses. This weekend's surgery was performed on 19-year-old Melissa Gomez's arm, which was left paralyzed from a car accident in December 2003. As part of the procedure, the medical team surgically removed nerves from her father's leg, and simultaneously transplanted them into Melissa's arm. The procedure also required the doctors to take nerves from Melissa's own legs and transplant them into her arm.
"The living-donor nerve transplant is a medical breakthrough that will be helpful in reversing many debilitating conditions caused by accidents, strokes and other medical tragedies," said Dr. Andrew Elkwood. "Using a live donor for this complex procedure, particularly a family member, offers many medical benefits including improved outcome, advantageous timing and may also reduce the risks of complications from transplant surgery."
In January 2004, Dr. Elkwood and his medical team made use of cadaverous nerves while performing the second nerve transplant to take place in the Tri-State area. Dr. Elkwood performed the first nerve transplant on the East Coast in March 2003, on a patient who was shot in the arm and leg. The patient has since regained near complete functionality of both his arm and leg.
About Dr. Elkwood
Dr. Andrew Elkwood, M.D., is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who performs unique operations involving nerve rebuilding and complex reconstruction. Dr. Elkwood and his team are among the few doctors in the country to perform operations such as brachial plexus reconstruction, facial reanimation, nerve transplantation, and nerve grafting to preserve erectile function after prostate cancer. Dr. Elkwood is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery in General Surgery and Plastic Surgery. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgery (FACS) and a Fellow of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Dr. Elkwood practices at The Plastic Surgery Center, with offices in NJ and Manhattan. For further information, please visit the Plastic Surgery Center's website at www.looknatural.com.