Double Hand Transplant Performed in Boston Hospital

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Double Hand Transplant Performed in Boston Hospital
UPMC/ John McCauley
n 2002, Richard Mangino lost his legs below the knee and his arms below the elbows because of a severe bloodstream infection that he had contacted when he had a kidney stone. At the time, he was sixty-five years old. A team of more than forty nurses, surgeons, and support staff worked for more than twelve hours performing the hand transplants.

The man told a news conference on Friday that he has been able to adjust to a life as a quadruple amputee and had taught himself how to do daily activities using his prostheses. He said that he could shovel snow, paint, and mow the lawn. What he wanted the most was to be able to feel the sense of touch. He wanted to be able to touch his grandson’s faces and be able to teach them how to throw a ball.

According to the doctors, it will take him six to nine months to be able to regain sensory function in the hands. A few days after he had surgery he was able to start moving his fingers independently. Who the donor of the hands was has not been made public. Although there have been approximately fifty hands transplanted around the world his was only the fourth bilateral hand transplant performed in the United States.

The hospital where he had his surgery has also performed four face transplants but his was only the second bilateral hand transplant.