Penn Transplant Institute

Hand Transplant

Hand Transplants at Penn Transplant Institute

Penn Medicine recently joined a select group of U.S. medical centers to establish multidisciplinary programs to perform bilateral hand transplants. The Penn Hand Transplant program was designed to help double-arm or double-hand amputee patients regain mobility and independence.

A hand transplant, unlike a solid organ transplant, involves multiple tissues: skin, muscle, tendon, bone, cartilage, fat, nerves and blood vessels. The first successful operation was performed in France in 1998. Only a few people have received hand transplants, including bilateral (both hands) transplants, around the world.

A joint venture of the Penn Transplant Institute, Penn Orthopaedics and Penn Plastic Surgery, the program works closely with the Gift of Life donor program.