Hand and Arm Transplant

Hand and arm transplantation is an experimental reconstructive procedure that has the potential to significantly improve the lives of upper extremity amputees. The surgery transfers the hand(s) and/or arm(s) of a deceased human donor to a patient with amputation of one or both hands/arms.

After extensive rehabilitation, this transplant surgery can provide a patient with new hands/arms that allow them to perform daily activities and, in most cases, return to work. Furthermore, the ability to restore a near-normal appearance of the upper extremities can have psychological benefits, including improved confidence and mood. We describe hand and arm transplant surgery as a life-giving procedure because it has the potential to dramatically improve a patient's mental and physical health and their ability to function and integrate in society.

Any organ transplant involves risks, and hand and upper arm transplantation is considered experimental. A patient must be in excellent health and willing to commit to frequent healthcare appointments in the years following surgery, including but not limited to postoperative appointments, blood tests and physical therapy. Additionally, to prevent rejection of the transplanted limb, a patient must take medications to suppress their immune system for the rest of their life.

The Brigham hand and arm transplant team is seeking qualified candidates for our hand/arm transplant research study. Our team will be studying a small group of people to help develop best practices that will improve outcomes for current and future patients.

For more information about hand and arm transplantation, please call Dr. Talbot's office at (617) 732 4288.

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