Targeted Reinnervation Surgery
Dumanian and physiatrist Dr. Todd Kuiken for the treatment of high upper extremity amputee patients. Known as targeted reinnervation, this revolutionary procedure allows amputees to move their prosthetic arm by simply thinking what movements they wish to accomplish. A team approach to the care of the amputee involves evaluations by Dr. Kuiken, prosthetists, occupational therapists, and plastic surgery. All procedures are performed by Dr. Dumanian. His work is documented in various medical publications, Lancet, the New York Times, the New Yorker Magazine, and National Geographic, Surgery usually involves a one-night stay in the hospital. A side benefit of the surgery is typically a decrease in the amount of pain that the amputee feels in his or her residual limb.
"Targeted reinnervation" or more simply known as the "bionic arm" procedure, taps into the peripheral nervous system for the information needed to control a myoelectric prosthesis. The nerve signals that used to control the arm are transferred to local otherwise functionless muscles. The larger muscles then amplify the signal, so that the electric impulses can be picked up through the skin by sensors. There is nothing implanted, no wires, and no batteries. As the videos below will demonstrate, the motions after the bionic arm surgery are smooth, faster, and can occur with much less training.
Patients interested in this procedure should contact either Dr. Dumanian or Dr. Kuiken by email. Photos of your amputated extremity will help the physicians determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure. Until now, the patients have all had amputations above the elbow joint.
Bionic Arm Videos
Bionic Arm in patient with transhumeral amputation: an amputation above the elbow.
Bionic Arm in patient with shoulder disarticulation: an amputation at the shoulder.
Video of transhumeral TMR surgical procedure
Additional Resources on the Bionic Arm Procedure
- The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago has articles from medical journals describing the procedure, and videos of some of our patients.
- Wikipedia entry on targeted reinnervation.
- New York Times article on targeted reinnervation.
Bionic Arm Procedure Articles by Dr. Dumanian
More about Dr. Dumanian
Dr. Dumanian is a board certified plastic surgeon who is nationally recognized as a leader in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. In addition to performing targeted reinnervation (bionic arm surgery) for amputee patients, he is a top provider of breast reconstruction for former breast cancer patients. Dr. Dumanian is also recognized for his work in rectus diastasis / abdominal hernia surgery. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Dumanian at 312-695-1999.