India’s first successful double hand transplant surgery has been done in Kochi located in Southern India. Over 20 surgeons at the Amrita Insititute of Medical Sciences conducted the complex hand transplant surgery that went on for 16 hours on the 30-year-old man.
Manu was pushed off a train three years back when he objected to a group of men harassing women. He lost both his hands in the incident but due to the hand transplant surgery he is now able to write with his new hands. The Rs 15 lakh cost for the operation has been borne by the hospital.
The surgery included attaching six to seven blood vessels, four to five nerves, two bones and 16 to 18 tendons. The hands were attached from above the wrist. The transplanted hand was of a a 24-year-old accident victim. The accident victim was brain dead and the victims family took the decision of donating his organs to other patients.
According to the surgeons who conducted the hand transplant surgery the first two weeks is the most crucial period as acute rejection happens during this time. After four to five days the blood flow was restored. The patient has to be on physiotherapy, it will take about three to nine months to regain sensation.
About 110 successful hand transplants have been conducted so far in US, Europe, China and Australia.
Dr Subramania Iyer, Head of the Plastic Surgery Department, Amrita Institute of Medical Science said, “This is the first time a hand transplant is done in the Asian Sub-Continent and probably the first hand transplant in non-white skin. The importance is that whenever hand is transplanted, your rejection is seen through the skin. So we had telephonic discussion with doctors in USA saying that this is the first case where coloured skin has been transplanted. We have documented everything so that it will be a lesson for the world, that way it has been unique.”
Like every other transplant the patient has to be on life-long immuno suppressants. The hospital was getting ready for a transplant of this nature for the past two years and that’s when Manu approached the hospital. The estimated cost for this transplant is about Rs 15 lakh but the entire expense for this transplantation was borne by Mata Amritanandamayi Math.
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