An Austrian man has voluntarily had his hand amputated so he can be fitted with a bionic limb.
The patient, called "Milo", aged 26, lost the use of his right hand in a motorcycle accident a decade ago.
After his stump heals in several weeks' time, he will be fitted with a bionic hand which will be controlled by nerve signals in his own arm.
The surgery is the second such elective amputation to be performed by Viennese surgeon Professor Oskar Aszmann.
The patient, a Serbian national who has lived in Austria since childhood, suffered injuries to a leg and shoulder when he skidded off his motorcycle and smashed into a lamppost in 2001 while on holiday in Serbia.
While the leg healed, what is called a "brachial plexus" injury to his right shoulder left his right arm paralysed. Nerve tissue transplanted from his leg by Professor Aszmann restored movement to his arm but not to his hand.
A further operation involving the transplantation of muscle and nerve tissue into his forearm also failed to restore movement to the hand, but it did at least boost the electric signals being delivered from his brain to his forearm, signals that could be used to drive a bionic hand.
Then three years ago, Milo was asked whether he wanted to consider elective amputation.
"The operation will change my life. I live 10 years with this hand and it cannot be (made) better. The only way is to cut this down and I get a new arm," Milo told BBC News prior to his surgery at Vienna's General Hospital.
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