First ever double leg transplant

Doctors in Spain have carried out the world's first double leg transplant, giving new lower limbs to a patient who lost both legs at mid-thigh in an accident.

The Valencia regional government said yesterday that the surgical team was led by Dr Pedro Cavadas, who in 2009 carried out Spain's first face transplant.

The statement said the operation, at La Fe hospital in Valencia, was extremely complex.

"Today we can say a landmark has been reached," said Dr Rafael Matesanz, director of the National Transplant Organisation.

Another official said the operation began on Sunday night, and lasted about 13 or 14 hours. The official said that if the limbs are rejected, it would happen immediately.

The operation was approved in 2010 and since then, doctors have been waiting for legs to be donated. No information was given on the donor or the recipient.