Kochi's AIMS docs carry out India's first hand transplant

Doctors at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) in Kochi, Kerala said on Wednesday that they have ''successfully'' carried out India's first hand transplant – although it will be known only after two weeks whether the 30-year-old recipient's body has accepted it or not, as rejection occurs in many such operations.

Hand transplants have been successfully carried out in just 110 cases around the world; if this proves to be the 111th success, it will be a considerable achievement for the hospital and the surgeons involved.

The surgery was conducted on Tuesday for over 16 hours on one Manu, who had lost both his hands in a train accident. The transplanted organ was taken from a brain-dead 24-year-old accident victim with the same blood group.

Dr Subramania Iyer, head of the plastic and reconstructive surgery department at Amrita Hospital, said, ''Technically everything went well. It may take another 10-14 days before confirming the acceptance of the limbs by the recipient.''

A report in the Indian Science Journal said both the blood group and lymphocyte of the donor and recipient were matched, and there strong chances of it turning into India's first such successful surgery.

Dr Iyer is upbeat about the success. If accepted, the hand will take a year to become 90 per cent normal, though some small muscles may not be as functional as in a normal hand, he said.