Trivia: Ecuador location for first attempted hand transplant in the world in 1964

Posted on July 26, 2016 • Filed under: Ecuador, Ecuador Trivia, Latin America Health reported hand surgeons are often called upon to reattach severed parts. Fingers, thumbs, hands, and forearms have all been successfully replanted since the initial reports of arm replantation by Malt and McKhann in 1962 2,3 and thumb replantation by Kamatsu and Tamai in 1968.4 Hand transplantation was a natural extension of this technical procedure for those patients who were not candidates for reattachment.

In 1964, the world’s first hand transplant was performed in Ecuador, when Dr. Robert Gilbert transplanted a single hand onto a bilateral amputee. The postoperative use of prednisone and azathioprine, therapies that had made renal allografts feasible, failed to prevent acute rejection in this patient, and the graft was amputated 3 weeks after surgery [8]. This failure, as well as similar outcomes in small animal models, tempered any initial enthusiasm for VCA. While solid organ transplantation flourished, another attempt at hand transplantation would not take place for another 3 decades. Read Article


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