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UCLA Hand Transplant Program Announced – Research Study Program And Afflicted Patients Can Apply

Posted Jul 26 2010 11:24am

This is huge for anyone who has lost a hand so be sure and check out the criteria one needs to meet to be considered for the surgery!  If you were image selected and live out of state you might need to think about the requirements about being available locally for follow up by all means.  

I am guessing that many from the military who have lost a hand or hands would want to apply for this miraculous procedure too. 

Like any type of transplant procedure, donors are needed and need to be matched by hand size, gender and ethnicity to assure success.  Like any other transplant procedure, medications are required before surgery to avoid rejection.  The program also has an extensive rehabilitation process to learn how to use the new hand too.  BD 

Hand transplantation is still experimental. The UCLA Hand Transplantation Program is a research study that has been approved by UCLA's Institutional Review Board.
The UCLA Hand Transplantation Program is a multidisciplinary partnership that includes UCLA's transplantation services as well as hand, plastic and orthopedic surgery, psychiatry, pathology, anesthesia, internal medicine, hematology, radiology, neurology, ethics and rehabilitation services. Recognized leaders in each of these fields provide comprehensive and expert care to the hand-transplant patient.

Eligibility Criteria for the UCLA Hand Transplantation Program

  • 18-to-60 years of age

  • Good general health

  • Amputation not due to birth defect or cancer

  • Amputation of limb at the wrist or forearm

  • No serious infections such as hepatitis B or C or HIV

Patients who meet the basic eligibility requirements and wish to be considered for the UCLA Hand Transplantation Program should contact Dr. Kodi Azari, the Surgical Director of the Hand Transplantation Program at (310) 825-1745, for an initial evaluation.

The process of choosing appropriate candidates for hand transplantation is highly selective. Appropriate candidates will be motivated and committed not just to the surgery but also to a rigorous program of rehabilitation that will follow. Qualified patients will undergo an additional evaluation to determine if other conditions for participating in the study are met. This evaluation will include a medical history, physical examination and lab tests, X-ray tests, in addition to a psychological profile. In addition to medical and psychological considerations, appropriate candidates will be selected based on ethical criteria weighing the benefits of transplantation versus the need for lifelong immunosuppression. 

The patient also will undergo periodic biopsies and lab evaluations. Patients participating in the UCLA Hand Transplantation Program will need to remain in the Los Angeles region for initial post-operative period to be carefully monitored.

A key element to the success of the procedure is the selection of the donor limb. In addition to meeting the prerequisites for the selection of other organs, care is taken to match the donor hand size, skin color and tone, gender and ethnicity to that of the recipient. Matching of suitable donor limbs is coordinated by One Legacy. For more information about One Legacy, visit www.onelegacy.org .

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