Mumbai: 18-year-old with birth defect becomes first Indian to undergo successful unilateral hand transplant

Mumbai: 18-year-old with birth defect becomes first Indian to undergo successful unilateral hand transplant

The patient was able to get a new hand after 18 years of life, according to a press release issued by the hospital.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Saturday, February 04, 2023, 08:36 PM IST
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Representative Image | Pixabay

Mumbai: After 13 hours of surgery, a team of doctors led by Dr Nilesh Satbhai, Sr. Consultant Plastic, Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgeon, at Global Hospital, Parel, achieved a rare feat recently and earned a place in medical history. The team  performed a successful unilateral hand transplant procedure on the first Indian teen with a birth defect (congenital hand aplasia). The patient was able to get a new hand after 18 years of life, according to a press release issued by the hospital.

Girl was born with congenital deformity on her right hand

Samiya Mansuri, an 18-year-old from Bharuch, Gujarat, was born with a congenital deformity on her right hand. Her forearm and hand were severely under-developed. The family ran from pillar to post to make sure that Samiya gets a good hand prosthesis, but nothing seemed to work in their favor. They visited many cities including Jaipur looking for hand prosthesis. Soon they realized that a hand prosthesis will never be able to give her a functional hand. The family then consulted Dr. Satbhai at Global Hospital seeking a hand transplant. After multiple sessions of counselling, Dr. Satbhai and his team agreed to plan for a transplant for Samiya. They decided to wait till she turned 18 and became eligible to give consent for the surgery. On turning 18, on January 10, Samiya was physiologically and legally eligible to register for a hand transplant, and her joy knew no bounds. Miraculously, a 52-year-old woman’s family from Indore generously donated an arm that could be used for Samiya. 

Medical literature has no reports about the specific transplant: Doctor

Dr Nilesh Satbhai said, “This transplant was done for the congenital absence of hand. The medical literature does not have any reports about hand transplants for congenital absence of hand. To understand the complexity of the surgery, and to give valid consent for surgery, the patient has to be at least 18 years old. Samiya’s family had first consulted me more than 2 years back. She was firm and motivated to undergo the transplant, after knowing all the treatment complexity. We registered her for the transplant on her 18th birthday.”

Surgical plan was different and complex

Dr Satbhai added, “Samiya’s hand was not completely developed. Her forearm, wrist, and hand were severely deficient. She had very small finger nubbins. Owing to the deformity, in her right hand, all the blood vessels, muscles, bones, and nerves were smaller than usual. Hence the surgical plan was much different and complex as compared to transplants after accidental amputations. We preserved all the available functions of the elbow but repaired the blood vessels and nerves above the elbow level to match their size. The rehabilitation programme has started and will progress as the nerve recovery happens. She would need around 9-12 months to have a fully functional hand. Samiya is getting discharged today and all medical and post-op care has been explained to the patient and her parents.”

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