The success of first double hand transplant in a child has given hope to many and provided useful insights to surgeons across the globe as the study published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal, presents the first medical report of the surgery and 18 months of follow-up.
‘The world’s first double hand transplant in a child has been successful under carefully considered circumstances’ says the study.
The recipient of the transplant was an 8-year-old boy based in the USA, who is now able to write, and feed and dress himself independently following months of occupational therapy and psychological support. However, during this time he also faced setbacks, including treatment of numerous rejections of the hands and extensive rehabilitation to help him learn to use his hands.
“Our study shows that hand transplant surgery is possible when carefully managed and supported by a team of surgeons, transplant specialists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation teams, social workers and psychologists,” says Dr Sandra Amaral, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA. “18 months after the surgery, the child is more independent and able to complete day-to-day activities. He continues to improve as he undergoes daily therapy to increase his hand function, and psychosocial support …