3 key points on hand transplant surgery & what its future entails

Mary Rechtoris -   Print  |

Earlier in June, Linda Cendales, MD, and her team performed North Carolina's first hand transplant surgery on a Texas patient. Serving as Dunham, N.C.-based Duke University School of Medicine's director of the hand transplant program, Dr. Cendales weighed in on the procedure and the outlook for hand transplant surgery, according to Duke Chronicle.

 When performing the procedure, various team members comprised of surgeons, nurses, operating room staff, anesthesiologists, radiology technicians and a research team worked collaboratively to ensure the transplant's success. The surgical team completed the 12-hour procedure on May 27.


Here are three key points:


1. Hand transplants are more complex than other organ transplantsbecause they entail a visual aspect, which impacts an individual's body image and quality of health. Dr. Cendales explained the more challenging aspects of this procedure pertain to immunosuppression and different transplanted tissues' immunogenicity. Following the transplant, patients undergo a "rigorous" occupational therapy regiment, where medical professionals closely monitor their immunosuppression regimen.


2. Dr. Cendales has performed a hand transplant at University of Louisville (Ky.) as well as Atlanta-based Emory University, where she learned hand transplants require both a multidisciplinary approach as well as an emphasis on the population in need.


3. Dr. Cendales hopes the transplants will spearhead the beginning of a comprehensive vascularized composite allograft clinical program, which an investigational program will support. The U.S. Department of Defense granted Duke University $4 million to develop a program supporting limb translation for veterans.


More articles on orthopedics:
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Orthopedic surgeon leader to know: Dr. Anthony Infante of Florida Orthopaedic Institute
Hays Orthopedic Institute to host 'Let’s Talk' program on hip replacements — 3 quick notes

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