The Plastic Surgery team at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust performs the UK’s first unilateral hand transplant.

The extensive team including surgeons, anaesthetists, specialist nurses and theatre staff undertook the 8 hour operation on 27 December, coordinated carefully between Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and NHSBT (NHS Blood and Transplant), who managed the donor aspects of the transplant and who have supported this development over many months.

Although it is still early days, Professor Kay, the lead surgeon describes progress as ‘very encouraging’. He also acknowledged the tremendous team work that had culminated in this moment, particularly emphasising the many disciplines from psychology through to immunology and transplant medicine who each played an important part in the process and who continue to contribute every day to the success of this transplant.

Members of the team paid tribute to the courage and thoughtfulness of the donor family who made this important gift at a time of great personal distress.

The recipient patient now faces a prolonged period of therapy and rehabilitation as the new limb gradually recovers nerve function and power.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust's press release can be seen here.


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