Rare transplant gives quadruple amputee two new hands

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 14, 2011 10:54 AM
Rare transplant gives quadruple amputee two new hands

BOSTON (Reuters) - A 65-year-old quadruple amputee has received two new hands in a rare double transplant operation, Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital said on Friday.

Richard Mangino got the two hands last week in a 12-hour transplant procedure by a team of more than 40 doctors, nurses and other medical staff, the hospital said.

Mangino, from Revere, Massachusetts, lost his arms below the elbows and legs below the knees after contracting sepsis, a bloodstream infection, in 2002.

The complicated surgery included transplanting skin, tendons, muscles, ligaments, bones and blood vessels on both forearms and hands, the hospital said.

The double-hand transplant is the second performed by Brigham and Women's, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

In May, a team performed a full face transplant and its first double-hand transplant on Charla Nash, a Connecticut woman who was mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009.

The hospital said the hand transplant was successful, but the hands did not thrive after complications from pneumonia and were removed.

There are a few other programs around the country that perform hand transplants.

The first hand transplant was performed in France in 1998, and the first in the United States was completed a year later.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jerry Norton)