Kerala-based Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) has successfully performed twin-hand transplant on a 30-year-old Afghan military captain, who lost his hands while defusing mines three years ago.
Abdul Rahim approached AIMS four months ago, at the end of a search for hand transplant in many other countries.
"I went to Iran, but could not get a donor. After looking at the options of Germany, America and India, I reached New Delhi, where I was told about doctors at Amrita hospital," said Rahim. The donor was a 54-year-old brain dead accident victim from Kerala.
Dr.Prem Nair, Medical Director of AIMS, said the family of the brain dead victim was counseled for the donation and they agreed after confirming the hands will be replaced by prosthetic limbs to reduce deformity of the dead.
A team of 20 surgeons and eight anesthetists performed the hand transplant procedure for almost 15 hours.
"Rahim has regained considerable amount of function of both his hands using them for day-to-day activities. He will need intensive physiotherapy for another 9 to 10 months, for which he will have to stay back in Kochi. Each hand required connecting two bones, two arteries, four veins and about 14 tendons. The immune suppressant drugs were started before the start of the surgery and continued after it," said Subramania Iyer, Professor and Head of the Plastic Surgery department.
The first hand transplant in India was also performed at AIMS four months ago. AIMS authorities claimed the second successful transplant is yet another milestone in organ transplant in the country.