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Woman Undergoes Double Hand Transplant

The first woman to undergo a double hand transplant was ecstatic as she got discharged from the hospital.// The woman, Alba Lucia C, exclaimed "I'm doing very well, I'm very happy. I'm taking steps towards a new world after going through a totally different life. When I saw the hands after the operation, they were beautiful."

Alba had to undergo amputation in both her arms following an explosion in a laboratory in 1978, while she was a student of Chemistry. Presently, Alba, 47 years old and of Colombian origin could not have imagined that so many years later she could have found a donor from the same race, sex and blood group, and could successfully under go the transplant surgery.

The donor happened to a younger woman who was declared brain dead after an accident. A 10-hour operation on Alba was conducted at Hospital La Fe in Valencia, Spain, on November 30. Both transplants took place parallely.

Reconstructive specialist Pedro Cavadas, who led the operation, said: "When the two hands arrived, they were trimmed so the lengths were exactly correct. Then the bones were fixed with screws and we used a microscope and repaired the arteries, veins and nerves. The skin was then sealed off. She has two new hands and forearms two inches above the wrist bone. It'll be five or six months before she has any feeling. She’s delighted, because after 28 years without hands, she sees herself with some perfectly beautiful ones. She will have two useful hands that will allow her an independent life. It is much better than any prosthesis."

Alba needs to be on treatment with potent medication to restrain the immune system so that her body does not discard the acquired limbs. Doctors are extremely hopeful of a good recovery.


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