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Quadruple amputee from Pune undergoes bilateral hand transplant

The limbs were donated by the family of a 14-year-old boy from Surat.

A 32-year-old underwent a bilateral hand transplant procedure in a Mumbai hospital recently and is now in a stable condition. (Representational image)

Two years ago, Prakash, an accountant with a private construction firm, had suffered severe electrical burns while preparing to celebrate Diwali with his family. Doctors had to amputate his upper and lower limbs.

Recently, at Mumbai’s Global Hospital, the 32-year-old underwent a bilateral hand transplant procedure and is now in a stable condition.

“We were waiting for this procedure for almost a year,” his wife Madhuri Shelar said while waiting outside the intensive care unit. “I got a call from my husband and exchanged Diwali greetings.”

The limbs were donated by the family of a 14-year-old boy from Surat who had a chronic kidney disease and was waitlisted for a kidney transplant. The organs were donated after he was declared brain dead.

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“I can never forget that terrible night as my husband, who was engaged in some house cleaning work as part of Diwali celebrations, tripped and came in contact with a live wire. He suffered severe burns and these last two years have been extremely challenging for my family,” she said.

With the help of doctors, the family has started a fundraising campaign and raised nearly Rs 20 lakh for the transplant.

Global Hospital’s plastic reconstructive surgeon Dr Nilesh Satbhai, who performed the transplant, told The Indian Express: “People are still not aware that a bilateral hand transplant can be performed. We are trying to create awareness on this issue. For someone who does not have hands, this procedure can make a huge difference in their lives.”

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Dr Satbhai also said that transplant procedures are technically challenging.

“As compared to heart and liver, matching for hands of the donor and recipient is much more stringent This depends on how the body of the recipient is going to react to the donor’s hands. Cross-matching is done to ensure it is safe for the transplant. If crossmatch is favourable then chances of rejection are less and they have to take immunosuppressant medication. Biopsy of hand is done at regular intervals to ensure hands are not rejected,” Dr Satbhai explained.

While the transplant cost is prohibitive at an approximate Rs 20-25 lakh, Dr Satbhai said that artificial prostheses do not provide the complex function of hands. “They are not a great option and hence a transplant procedure is cost-effective in the long run,” he said.

First published on: 04-11-2021 at 11:37:35 am
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