Leg Transplant Surgery

Leg transplantation is an experimental treatment option for patients who are missing both legs at the trans-femoral level due to amputation. Leg transplantation transfers the leg(s) of a deceased human donor to a recipient patient.

Conventional leg reconstruction methods are always considered first. There are many sophisticated prostheses that replace the basic function of a lower extremity. However, replacing legs with prosthetics does not provide sensation (feeling) or a natural-looking appearance. Leg transplant surgery may be able to provide a patient with legs that, after extensive rehabilitation, allow them to perform daily activities and, potentially, walk without assistance. Furthermore, the ability to restore a near-normal appearance of the leg(s) can have psychological benefits, including improved confidence and mood.

Any organ transplant involves risks. Leg transplantation is considered experimental and has had limited clinical success to date. A patient must be in excellent health and willing to commit to frequent health care 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 is actively seeking qualified candidates for our leg transplant research study. Our team will be studying a small group of people to learn more about the following:

  • How to do a leg transplant in the best possible way
  • How to stop the body from rejecting the transplant
  • How people do after leg transplantation

For more information about leg transplantation, please call Dr. Matthew Carty's office at (617) 983 4555.

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