Indian painter receives hands of brain-dead woman through rare bilateral hand transplant


Doctors in Delhi, India, successfully performed the city’s first bilateral hand transplant on a 45-year-old painter who lost both hands in a horrific train accident several years ago.

How they did it: A team of 11 doctors performed the procedure on Raj Kumar at Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on January 19. His donor was identified as Meena Mehta, a former administrator at a local school who had been declared brain dead.

Speaking to the Indian Express, Dr. Swaroop Singh Gambhir that the bones were first secured before the muscles, arteries and nerves of the donor’s hands were connected to those of the recipient. After the 12-hour operation and six weeks of recovery, Kumar was discharged on Wednesday local time.

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How he lost his hands: Kumar, a resident of Delhi’s Nangloi district, lost his hands after being run over by a train in October 2020. “I was limping due to a leg injury. I slipped on the tracks and my bike got stuck. I was trying to pull my bike with my hands when I was run over,” he told the Press Trust of India.

Kumar underwent a prosthesis trial after the accident. However, this was unsuccessful and made him dependent on others.

A glimmer of hope: Kumar gained hope when the hospital told him in January that they were eligible for a bilateral hand transplant. It turned out that Mehta had donated several organs. Other people received their corneas, their livers and one of their kidneys.

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For its part, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital was reportedly the first hospital in North India to receive permission to perform hand transplants in February 2023.

What’s next: Dr. Mahesh Mangal, Chairman of the Department of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery at the hospital, told PTI that Kumar will have to take immunosuppressants for the rest of his life, similar to those given to liver and kidney transplant patients, to prevent his body from suffering from it his new hands off.

In addition, it will take six to seven months before he feels the first sensations in it. That means he has to take precautions not to touch anything too hot or too cold, Mangal added.

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