Penn surgeons describe double hand transplant

McClatchy Newspapers, November 2, 2011

Capping two and a half years of planning, University of Pennsylvania surgeons on Tuesday announced details of their first double hand transplant, which was given to a quadruple amputee. L. Scott Levin, director of the Penn Hand Transplant Program, called the marathon operation "very very successful" and said the patient "already has the ability to function more than a month ago." But he cautioned, "this patient's needs were so great." And even with the hand transplants, "this patient will never be normal." It will take about a year before nerve regeneration would be expected to give her finger movement and sensation, he said. She has been in rehab for several hours a day and that will last up to a year, he said. While Penn is the sixth U.S. medical center to transplant hands, the patient is believed to be only the fifth to undergo a double hand (bilateral) operation.


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