Doctors of a private hospital in Kochi have registered a rare feat by conducting India's first successful double hand transplant.
The transplant was conducted at Amrita Institute of Medical Science in Kochi on January 12 and 13 on a 30-year-old train accident victim, who received both hands of a 24-year-old road accident victim.
Subramania Iyer, professor and head of the plastic surgery department, said that only 110 successful hand transplants have been conducted so far in the US, European countries, China and Australia, since the first one in France 13 years ago.
"Fourteen days after surgery, both the hands were accepted by the recipient's body and he started regaining movements. He has been shifted out of the intensive care unit and the post-surgical rehabilitation process has started," he said.
The operation conducted by more than 20 surgeons lasted for 16 hours.
The patient "will be able to move his hands since his own muscles of the forearm are working to move the fingers", the doctor said.
"The sensations will return only slowly and is expected in three-four months. His immuno-suppressant drugs (to prevent rejection of the transplanted hands) will have to be continued indefinitely, but at a reduced rate from three months," he added.
He said details of the transplant have been added to the International Registry of Hand Transplants, which maintains stringent standards in the follow-up of such cases.
The entire expenses for the transplant were borne by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math.