Doctors completed an 18 hour surgery on Wednesday to provide a burn victim with a double hand transplant. Doctors are optimistic about the outcome of the procedure for two reasons: first, the recipient had more sensation in the tissue that remained of their own hands than previous hand transplant patients (who had actual lost their hands to amputation or trauma) and second, the patient is stable and doing well.
Little is known about the hand recipient aside from being male, married and expected to stay in the hospital for several months for rehabilitation and recovery.
This double hand transplant surgery is the third performed in America. The procedure, led by Dr. Warren Breidenbach at Jewish Hospital, has been performed twice at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Hands for transplant are typically obtained from organ donors, after requesting special permission from the family of the donor.
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