KOCHI: The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) has set yet another milestone in organ transplant, with the second successful twin hand transplant.
Recipient of the second twin hand transplant is 30-year-old Abdul Rahim, a former army captain from Kandahar in Afghanistan who lost both his hands during de-mining operations in Kandahar three years ago.
This is the first case of twin-hand transplant on an Afghan citizen. The donor was Joseph, a 54-year-old accident victim from Kerala, who was declared brain dead. Manu, 30, the recipient of the first hand transplant, which was performed four months ago, is recovering well and is doing almost all the routine activities.
Abdul Rahim approached Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences four months ago, after scouting for hand transplant in several countries. The transplant was performed in a ‘marathon’ surgical procedure that lasted for around 15 hours, involving more than 20 surgeons and eight anaesthetics.
“Rahim has regained functioning of both his hands significantly, and is using them for day-to-day activities. He will need intensive physiotherapy for another nine-ten months, for which he will have to stay back in Kochi,” said Dr Subramania Iyer, professor and head of the plastic surgery department at Amrita. “Each hand required connecting of two bones, two arteries, four veins and about 14 tendons each. Immune suppressant drugs, which were started before the commencement of the surgery, are continuing,” said Amrita medical director Dr Prem Nair
The family members of the donor agreed to donate the hands after they were given counselling and were assured that the hands would be replaced with prosthetic limbs to reduce deformity.
The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, which has been in the forefront of organ transplant in the country, has already conducted 885 transplants, including two liver transplants, bowel transplants, two twin hand transplants, and a rare pancreas transplant.
“The hospital has been getting requests from across the country and abroad, especially in the Gulf, for hand transplant. We have been highly selective, even in providing counselling, as our experience is very limited,” Dr Iyer added.