A 32-year old man who was born without a hand has successfully undergone a 13-hour surgery after receiving a new hand from a dead donor in what Polish surgeons say is a world first.
“It is the first graft in the world of an upper limb onto an adult with this congenital defect,” said Adam Domanasiewicz, who headed the team of surgeons at Wroclaw Medical University Hospital. “We are talking about a man who lived 32 years without this member.”
Currently, the 32-year can only move his fingers, but doctors believe Piotr will gain more mobility throughout the hand over time.
Up to now, similar procedures have been performed on newborn conjoined twins in Indonesia and Canada, Domanasiewicz said.
“This is an important breakthrough in neurophysiology and the practice of transplants because up to now it was thought that – in the case of this type of congenital defect – such grafts could not be done,” Domanasiewicz said.
The operation could open up new possibilities to hundreds of thousands of people in the world born without members whose only option to date has been prostheses, he added.