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UT Southwestern launches hand transplant program
Date:8/29/2011

nd with the expertise of our transplant team and the addition of Dr. Chong, we are ready to develop and help the severely injured American veterans and patients so they can return as a functional person in our society."

More than 40 hand transplants have been recorded since the first was performed in 1998 in France, including a few double hand transplants in recent years. The first U.S. hand transplant was performed in 1999 in Louisville, Ky. Patients show a five-year success rate of about 92 percent to 95 percent.

During a transplant procedure, a team of up to 15 surgeons, anesthesiologists, operating room nurses and technicians will work simultaneously to prepare the donor hand and the recipient. As the donor limb is attached, hand and microvascular surgeons begin the complex work of attaching tendons, blood vessels and nerves. The operation typically lasts 10 to 14 hours.

Reattaching a severed limb is a complicated operation, Dr. Chong said. Chronic scarring can make it challenging to identify the more than 25 structures in the hand that need to be repaired to achieve functionality. But plastic surgeons are well-suited to perform the intricate work of transplant procedures, he added.

Dr. Chong completed two years of transplant research at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where he studied immune suppression, infectious disease and transplants. He also became part of the hand transplant team at the University of Pittsburgh, where he trained in plastic and reconstructive surgery and assisted in both the recovery and transplantation process.


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Contact: Robin Russell
robin.russell@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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